Furcelleran, a sulfated polysaccharide is extracted from red seaweed (algae) Furcellaria fastigiate. It is mostly found in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent sea, especially in Denmark and Sweden. This is thus the basis of the Danish seaweed industry. Furcellaran is a composition of D-galactose, 3, 6-anhydro-D-galactose and sulfated portions of these sugars. Its structure is similar to kappa carrageenan. It is white, odorless powder, soluble in water. The gel formed by the furcelleran is of low pH level. The gelling properties of Furcellaran are intermediate to agar and carrageenan. These gels are thus used in confectionaries, food, and cosmetic industry. It is used as stabilizers in beverages, jams, jellies and as a thickening agent in purees. It facilitates the protein precipitation and improves the clarification of the beer.
The majority of the furcelleran is consumed by food industry which includes baby products, weight reducing products and remaining in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Furcelleran can be modified with hot water treatment, to increase gel strength. Viscosity in furcelleran is a characteristic for its standardization. A furcelleran with high viscosity forms the elastic gel, and that with a low viscosity forms the brittle gel.
The furcelleran market is driven by factors such as its special properties, its application based consumption, highly increasing demand as a food additive and its availability. Emerging Innovative techniques and constantly changing food trends triggers demand for furcelleran by the food manufacturers in the market. The major factor favoring the furcelleran market is the permission of food and drug administration for the usage of furcelleran in the food, fosters the demand for food additives. With the support of these factors, the furcelleran market is expected to have positive growth graph. It is expected to have increasing CAGR in the forecasted period.
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Apart from its gelling and other physical and chemical properties, few factors stagnant the growth of this market. These factors include temperature dependency of furcelleran. Its high viscosity causes foods to burn more easily while cooking. Extreme cooling or high temperature affects the taste of food. It needs extra care in cooling. Thus such factors affecting the food taste has considerably fewer preferences in the food additive markets. All the above factors thus affect the furcelleran market.
Furcelleran, used as food additives has various uses in the food industry depending upon the concentration of different salts of Furcelleran. Salts used are ammonium, calcium, potassium and sodium. These are naturally occurring salts and are preferred as per the norms. The amount of food additive to be used are necessarily in specified amount as required for an emulsifier, stabilizers or thickening agents in food. The packaging label must specify the amount and type of furcelleran salt used in that product. The furcelleran, due to its special physical and chemical properties are combined with other gums or thickening agents such as carrageenan, sucrose to produce gelling products.
It is thus used based on its applications such as food industry in which it is used as a food additive in jams, jellies, confectionaries, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Due to its special characteristics, it is used in tablets also.