DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences
The premier source for Alginate, Carrrageenan, and Microcrystalline Cellulose
Alginate is one of the most versatile biopolymers and is used in a wide range of food, pharmaceutical, and specialty applications for:
- Film forming
Today, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is among the world’s largest alginate manufacturers. Together with our carrageenan and cellulose gel (microcrystalline cellulose) we offer a full range of functionalities and capabilities to assist formulators in creating and launching innovative products and systems, including:
- Cold soluble
- Cold setting
- Heat stable
- Freeze/thaw stable
Alginate is classified as a hydrocolloid which means it is a water-soluble biopolymer of colloidal nature when hydrated. The first scientific studies on the extraction of alginates from brown seaweed were made by the British chemist E.C. Stanford at the end of the 19th century, and the large-scale production of alginate was introduced 50 years later.
Like starch and cellulose, alginate is a polysaccharide, It is composed of several building units (typically 100–3000) linked together in a flexible chain. Long molecules constructed from identical or nearly identical building units are called polymers, while the building units themselves are called monomers. Polymers of natural origin are commonly called biopolymers.
The primary brown seaweed utilized by DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences for the extraction of alginates is Laminaria hyperborea. This type of seaweed is harvested along the western coast of Norway where the sustainable, renewable crop grows naturally in the clean Arctic waters. The plants are harvested in fairly shallow waters, at depths of 2-15 meters. Special trawlers have been developed to harvest this seaweed, and DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is the only alginate producer in the world that harvests Laminaria hyperborea mechanically.
From this natural source, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences develops and customizes blends of carrageenans for specific gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.
Binds Moisture – Carrageenan has excellent moisture binding capabilities. This allows formulators to manage water and other aqueous fluids in their systems.
Stabilizes Emulsions – Although carrageenan is not a surfactant, it will stabilize existing emulsions. Its thickening and thixotropic properties give integrity to the system and inhibit the oil from coalescing and separating into an oil phase and water phase.
Suspends Particles – The 3-dimensional network which helps stabilize emulsions also functions to suspend particulates. Insolubles will remain uniformly distributed in the bottle for extended periods without remixing or shaking.
Controls Flow Properties – Controlling flow properties of food systems is essential from processing to the final product consistency. Carrageenan is thermally reversible, so at high temperatures it will impart minimal viscosity, allowing for easier processing conditions and improved heat transfer. Upon cooling the carrageenan will thicken. With most gelling carrageenans, solutions will begin to solidify and form gels when cooled below 49°C (120°F).
Produces Stable Gels at Room Temperature – Most kappa and iota carrageenan solutions will set into a gel structure at ambient temperatures. The gels require heat to melt into a fluid state for reprocessing. Generally, carrageenan should be dispersed in cold water and then heated above the solubility temperature of the carrageenan to obtain maximum functionality. There are several other methods of incorporating carrageenan into complex systems or processes that allows it to offer optimum functionality.
Featured Product: Avicel PC 591
INCI: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum
Pack Size: 20 kg Bag
From this natural source, we develop and customize Microcrystalline Cellulose through various unique co-processing techniques. These help standardize products to meet specific gelling, suspension and stabilizing properties.
The raw material for Avicel – purified plant fiber (alpha cellulose) – is composed of millions of microfibrils. During processing the fibrous material is hydrolyzed (depolymerized) to remove the amorphous regions, leaving only the crystalline bundles.
The gel network formed with colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose offers the following qualities:
Thixotropy – Gels made with colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose readily break down with shear; when the shear is removed, the gel will reform over time with minimal loss to viscosity.
Foam Stability – Colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose is a premier foam stabilizer. The microcrystalline network thickens the water phase between air cells and acts as a physical barrier to maintain the air cells in suspension. Although colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose does not have significant film forming properties, it does work to increase the film strength.
Stabilize Emulsions – Colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose forms a 3-dimensional network of particles when properly dispersed in water. This colloidal network sets up at the oil-water interface to physically prevent oil globules from coalescing.
Heat Stability – Temperature changes have little to no effect on the functionality and viscosity of a colloidal dispersion. This property is extremely important in the preparation of heat stable products – particularly when acids are present. Colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose products hold up with minimal loss in viscosity during heat processing, including: baking, retorting, HTST, UHT processing, and microwaving.
Modify Textures – Colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose can be used to shorten textures or add body without creating a gummy or pasty texture. In food applications this results in a cleaner mouthfeel and sustained flavor release.
Suspend Particles – The stability and thixotropic rheology of colloidal Microcrystalline Cellulose makes it a useful suspension aid. In an aqueous system, the 3-dimensional matrix forms at low use levels to effectively suspend particulates.