What Is carrageenan
Carrageenan is a food additive from red seaweeds. It is used for food as thickener and stabilizer. The name of carrageenan comes from Irish “Carraigin”. It was first made commercially in 1940 for chocolate milk and junket.
There two types of carrageenan:
- Undegraded Carrageenan ( Polysaccharides)
Undegraded Carrageenan has been used for food about hundred years as a thickener, gelling and stabilizer and has been evaluated by WHO ( the world health organizations) and expert committee on food additives who review data and develop recommendations about food ingredients.
- Degraded Carrageenan ( Poligeenan)
Degraded carrageenan was found to be harmful, but it is not used for food. It is also commonly used in drug trials to literally diseases in lab animals.
Is it Carrageenan Safe?
We have a question, is Carrageenan safe?Carrageenan is safe to eat based on the number of health products that include it as an ingredient as food-grade. moreover, carrageenan has been evaluated by WHO and expert committee on food additives. In the other hands, the carrageenan is not digestible and has no values. It is used because it thickens and emulsifies food and it is often found even in organic and natural products. According to the studies by Dr. Joanne Tobacman, an associate professor at Illinois university in Chicago, claims that degraded carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and pre-cancerous lesions when fed to small laboratory animals. Degraded carrageenan of poligeenan is considered as possible carcinogen to human, whereas, undegraded carrageenan is not. Poligeenan is not an inherent component of carrageenan and can’t be produced in the digestive tract from carrageenan-containing foods as the poligeenan of production process requires high-temperature treatment of carrageenan with strong acids for an extended period of time.
Furthermore, the seaweed was boiled in water or milk and the extract in used to soothe the digestive system to treat ulcers and taken as a laxative. It may also have the potential to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. But there’s only a little research has been done.
However if you feel certain that you don’t have sensitive of using carrageenan you can consume it normally.
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