Carrageenan, or carrageenan, is a family of linear sulfate polysaccharides derived from red algae. The name comes from the English. carrageen moss - the English name for the algae of the species Chondrus crispus Stackh., growing off the coast of Ireland, which in turn comes from irl. carraigín - "little rock". The gelatinous extracts obtained from these algae have been used as food additives for hundreds of years.