Is there any difference between "egg whites" and "powdered albumen"?

In the wikipedia article on finings* it lists egg whites, (bunch of other irrelevant stuff), and irish moss as being replaced by carrageenan, (bunch of other, different irrelevant stuff), and dried albumen.

Having arrived at that page from one about irish moss, that passage has me stuck in a state of WTF. AIUI, Albumen IS egg whites, and irish moss is an industrial source of carrageenan, so it reads to me like “they used to use water, but are increasingly switching to H2O.”

Albumen can refer to the nutritive matter surrounding a seed - botanical albumen, so to speak, rather than zoological albumen.

Carrageen is the same thing as Irish moss (though, confusingly, it’s not a moss; it’s a seaweed). Don’t know about carrageenan, but possibly it’s a chemical found in carrageen but also available from other sources, or capable of being synthesised?

“Albumen” is a different name for egg whites. There is a class of proteins called “albumins” (note the spelling) that occur in eggs and blood. Ovalbumin makes up about 54% of the protein in egg whites. I suspect this is what the Wikipedia article was trying to refer to. This PDF on fining wines tends to support this.

As for carageenan, it’s an extract of Irish moss and other red seaweeds. The Wikipedia article seems to say that unrefined Irish moss was used for fining. I don’t know whether this is true. I looked at the earliest version of the Wikipedia article, and that does seem to be what it’s saying.

Oh, okay. So they’ve just replaced natural materials with their active ingredients (blood and egg whites were dropped for pure albumen, irish moss for carrageenan, etc.).

btw, forgot to include in my first post, but fining is the process of adding materials to a liquid (mostly beer, wine, and juices). Those materials then absorb unwanted compounds from the liquid and are later removed (either by filtration or being allowed to settle out).