Hydrogel beads based on natural polymers like alginate, κ-Carrageenan, and gelatin represent an efficient scaffold for controlled hydrophobic drug delivery. We report herein the development and characterization different formulations of hydrogel systems based on the above-mentioned polymers having adequate properties as drug delivery matrices. Different combinations of alginate/κ-Carrageenan and alginate/gelatin hydrogel beads were developed and drug release properties were compared using curcumin as a model drug. Alginate/κ-Carrageenan hydrogel beads with 50:50 weight ratio exhibited higher swelling and better drug release percentage than compared to other beads. Antibacterial activity of curcumin released from hydrogel beads against B. cereus was established by disc assay. Encapsulation efficiency and drug release behaviour of different formulations of alginate/κ-Carrageenan and alginate/gelatin indicates that the polymer blends synthesized possess considerable potential in pharmaceutical and medicinal applications. Copyright © VBRI Press.