Is carrageenan consumable? Is it safe? Won’t it result in intestinal or digestive problems? If you want to address these issues and have your questions answered, read on about carrageenan and its basic function in food industry. You learn more about the substance and you get informed in every aspect.
Food Processing Industry
Today’s foods contain so many stuffs – some of them are even weird. Processed foods, especially, have amazing stuffs in order to improve their texture and feel. After all, you can’t really expect the processed foods you buy to always look fresh. For instance, you may buy a chocolate biscuits with cheese fillings in it. But do you know the long process for the biscuits to get into your house? After being processed, they have to be transported to the main warehouse, and then transported again to the supplier. They still have to sit for days (even weeks) before customers like you decide to buy them. Get the idea?
Carrageenan is a compound extracted from red seaweed. It is usually added to improve the texture and mouth feel of foods. Widely, it is used as an additive in foods that began in the 1930s in chocolate milk, but now, it is also found in yogurt, ice cream, almond milk, deli meats, soy milk and meal replacement shakes.
Is it bad when eating carrageenan?
Some of different group and scientists have been trying to get FDA for decades. they want to ban a carrageenan using in foods as It has potential damage and it can cause to the digestive tract. moreover, there is an argument that has been reignited with a consumer report and petition by the advocacy and food policy research group cornucopia entitled “How a natural food additive is making us sick” and then from study by Dr. Joanne Tobacman, M.D. a professor at university of Illinois in Chicago explained that degraded carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and all forms of carrageenan are capable causing inflammation. but the carrageenan that has been added to foods is degraded carrageenan whereas, undegraded carrageenan is not used for foods.
Many people believe that there are some food ingredients that are not suitable to consume though it is often and widely used in food products since a long time ago. Carrageenan is one of it. There are many people that argue Carrageenan is actually inedible.
What is the Difference between Food-Grade and Degraded Carrageenan?
There is indeed a difference between the two types of Carrageenan. In which one is edible and the other is not. The edible one is called food grade Carrageenan. It is made through a set of process to get rid of the bacteria and harmful substances to only leaving the extract that is suitable and beneficial to consume. The edible Carrageenan is in fact very good for a healthy diet. In another hand, the inedible one is called degraded Carrageenan. The degraded Carrageenan is specially made through the process to only enough for safe usage, but not edible. It is usually used in products like gel air freshener, shampoo, makeup products, and many more.
Though one of the both types of Carrageenan is inedible, it is definitely safe to use. It is one of the natural ingredients and does not contain harmful chemical or any other harmful substances. So, you do not have to worry when you see Carrageenan in one of the ingredients in your daily product.