In order to achieve self-sufficiency in raw materials in the pharmaceutical sector, lecturers and researchers at Padjadjaran University (Unpad) together with a team of students developed carrageenan, a compound from seaweed extraction. The abundance of seaweed potential in Indonesian waters has made many people start to take advantage of it.
Research has been running for four years, carrageenan from seaweed has been tested and has a better quality than those on the market today. Carrageenan is an additive used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve food and beverages.
The Unpad Research Team, Anis Yohana Chaerunisa said that when compared to the current carrageenan, the product that his team developed could last longer if used in the pharmaceutical or food fields. Carrageenan was also developed by Anis and his team into various products such as herbal ice cream, fragrance gel, and even herbal medicine.
“This product started around 2015-2016, when we (Unpad Research Team) received a grant from the Ministry of Health regarding the development of carrageenan as an additional ingredient for pharmaceutical availability. We investigated how the process parameters affected. After the lab scale was completed, then we were required to apply it to industry for our partners,” said Anis in the Metro TV Newsline, Friday, September 9, 2022.
Anis also added that the use of carrageenan in food products lasts longer for stabilization compared to using other stabilizers.
“After two years, we then continued the carrageenan that we had developed into a product. At that time it was used as a stabilizer in herbal ice cream. Ice cream with carrageenan stabilizer did not melt quickly compared to using other stabilizers,”
So far, carrageenan producers can only produce products with food grade quality, while the carrageenan developed by the Unpad Research Team has better pharmaceutical quality. Anis and his team hope to create an independent pharmaceutical industry system and improve the community’s economy.