car·​ra·​geen·​an ˌker-ə-ˈgē-nən How to pronounce carrageenan (audio)
variants or carrageenin
: a colloid extracted from various red algae (such as Irish moss) and used especially as a stabilizing or thickening agent

Examples of carrageenan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, some emulsifiers, such as lecithin, guar gum, and carrageenan, prevent large ice crystals from forming in ice cream. Lauren Manaker Ms, Rdn, Ld, Verywell Health, 27 Sep. 2023 The ingredients may include sugar and sodium, as well as natural flavors, gums and carrageenan, a common food additive made from red seaweed. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 Some six weeks later, the seaweed is harvested and the women set it out to dry in the sun for two to three days, then sell it locally for processing into crisps or noodles or to export as carrageenan – a valuable additive in food and pharmaceuticals. Mariejo Ramos, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 July 2023 It is also known as carrageenan and Chondrus crispus. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 5 July 2023 For instance, guar gum comes from guar beans and carrageenan is extracted from seaweed. Karen Asp, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 June 2023 Carrageen farmers are generally after the extract carrageenan that is a thickening and stabilizing agent in a myriad of products besides nasal sprays, from toothpaste to baby formula. Chris Baraniuk, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Sep. 2022 Both sustainable products are cholesterol-free, Project Non-GMO verified, carrageenan-free and made with no artificial flavors. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 10 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carrageenan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


carrageen + -an entry 3 or -in entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carrageenan was circa 1889

Dictionary Entries Near carrageenan

Cite this Entry

“Carrageenan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or carrageenin
: a substance obtained from various red algae (as Irish moss) that is used in foods especially to stabilize and thicken them

Medical Definition


variants also carrageenin or carragheenan
: a typically gel-forming polysaccharide extracted from various red algae (such as Irish moss) and used especially as a suspending agent (as in foods) and as a clarifying agent (as for beverages) and in controlling crystal growth in frozen confections

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