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Carrageenan gum is a food product that belongs to the class of polysaccharides and derived from particular species known as red seaweed. It works as a thickener, gelatin, gelling agent and stabilizer and is widely used in the food product such as pudding, milk jelly, ice-cream, flavored/ chocolate milk drinks, custards, cheese analogs, and sports drink. Moreover, it is also used in the air freshener gels products, moisturizer, toothpaste, hair conditioners, and facial products as it offers smoothness, viscosity, excellent gelling agent, and release flavor. Some of the major application of carrageenan gum are food & beverages, personal care & toiletries, pharmaceuticals, and feed & pet food.

The global carrageenan gum market was estimated to be valued over US$ 700 million in terms of revenue in 2018 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027)


Increasing usage of carrageenan in the pharmaceutical industry is propelling the market growth of carrageenan gum. Various pharmaceutical manufacturers are using carrageenan widely in various products such as in hard and soft gel capsules. Iota carrageenan is widely used for producing soft gel capsules, whereas kappa-carrageenan gum is used in harder gel products. Moreover, carrageenan gum offer excellent emulsifying property for insoluble drug formulations. Furthermore, carrageenan gum also helps to extend the shelf life of antibiotic suspension. Therefore, rising usage of Carrageenan gum is boosting the market growth.

Market Opportunities

Growing usage of carrageenan gum in meat products is estimated to accelerate market growth over the forecast period. Carrageenan gum is widely used in meat products in order to offer viscosity and texture. Therefore, the growing demand for processed meat around the globe is propelling the demand for carrageenan gum in the meat processing industry as it imparts hard texture and enhances the shelf life of the product. Therefore, the growing usage of carrageenan gum in meat products is augmenting the market growth. For example, CEAMGEL-9393 is a multifunctional carrageenan that offers excellent properties of texture and water binding capability.

Market Restraints

Limited availability of raw materials is anticipated to curb the market growth of carrageenan gum over the forecast period. There is limited source available for raw materials of carrageenan which leads to fluctuating prices. Moreover, carrageenan gum is extracted from red seaweed, which is limited in the world and also the production of carrageenan gum is limited to a few regions in the world, which is further projected to impact the market growth negatively to some extent.

Key Takeaways

Among application, food & beverages segment dominated the global carrageenan gum market in 2018 with around 54% of market share in terms of volume, followed by feed & pet food and personal care & toiletries, respectively.

Market Trends

Various key players are entering into partnerships/agreements to increase their carrageenan production capacity and enhancing the distribution network for expanding footprint in the global market. This factor is expected to foster the market growth of carrageenan gum. For instance, in September 2016, W Hydrocolloids, Inc., a pioneer in the Philippines seaweed industry, acquired the seaweed the processing facility of Kerry Food Ingredients Cebu, Inc. located in Cebu, in the central Philippines. Another instance of a partnership that took place in September 2015, when Cornelius, an independent distributor of additives and ingredients in Europe, entered into partnership agreement with Compañía Española de Algas Marinas S.A. (CEAMSA) to distribute a range of high-quality hydrocolloids such as alginate, citrus fiber, carrageenan and pectin products in markets in the U.K. and Ireland.

Increasing approval for usage of carrageenan in various organic products is expected to augment the market growth of carrageenan gum over the forecast timeframe. For instance, in April 2018, The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has allowed the use of carrageenan in organic products, contrary to a recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to ban the use of the food additive and also The USDA declared that carrageenan will remain on the National List of non-organic ingredients that are allowed in the processing of organic products.

Competitive Section

Key players active in the global carrageenan gum market are CP Kelco U.S., Marcel Trading Corporation, FMC Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Extractos Naturales, Gelymar, Ingredients Solutions, Inc., Kerry Group, Cargill, Incorporated, Altrafine Gums, W Hydrocolloids, Inc., and CEAMSA.                                                                                                                                 

Few Recent Developments

Extractors Naturales Gelymar S. A.

  • In 2015, the company formed a strategic alliance with Algaia, a natural product and solution provider, in order to expand its presence in markets in developing regions
  • In February 2015, the company signed an agreement with Ingredion Incorporated, a global ingredients solution provider, to commercialize carrageenan and texture solutions for the food and personal care industry in the U.S. and Canada market

Marcel Trading Corporation

  • In 2016, the Company has production facilities located near seaweed growing areas in the Philippines
  1. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.
  • In November 2016, DuPont Nutrition and Health partnered with Inboise NV, a biotechnology company, to manufacture a novel infant nutrition ingredient for application in infant formulas
  • In Feb 2016, DuPont India organized an Ice Cream contest to promote innovation in the ice cream industry and dairy-based ice cream in the country that include carrageenan as a prime ingredient. The event was largely successful, having over 90 domestic and international participants.

Market Taxonomy

By Application

  • Food & Beverages
    • Dairy Products
    • Meat Products
    • Confectionery & Bakery
    • Beverages
    • Salads & dressings
  • Personal Care & Toiletries
    • Toothpaste
    • Air Fresheners
    • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Feed & Pet Food

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia-pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
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