It doesn’t matter whether you read about this online before, you’re simply curious or you want to do your own research, we want to inform you all about carrageenan. There’s always the term “it’s bad for your health”, “don’t consume that, it causes cancer”. Dear beloved reader, everything in our life causes cancer, too much and too little of everything is also bad for your health. If you would avoid all the things in life that other people would say are ‘bad’ then you won’t enjoy anything in life; you know it’s true.
Before you go on with this article, you need to keep an opened mind. When you already settled on a thought, you know in yourself that it would be your permanent opinion, then it would be difficult to persuade yourself otherwise.
Much like with any other food additive, carrageenan is regulated by the FDA in the US before it’ allowed to be used. In proper portions and amounts, it’s used as thickeners, stabilizers and emulsifiers in numerous kinds of foods. FDA has also reviewed and done various research with regards to the use of carrageenan on infant formulas and other medical purposes, they have concluded that carrageenan up to 1000 mg/L is no concern whatsoever.
According to The European Food Safety Authority, “There’s not a single evidence of any adverse or negative effect on humans from any exposure to food-grade carrageenan, other than that there are also no negative effects due to any exposure to degraded carrageenan.”
Is Carrageenan Safe?
As we mentioned above, carrageenan is safe and there hasn’t been cases of any negative effects on people. Carrageenan plays a key role in the overall food industry; many of your favourite foods wouldn’t be the same without carrageenan. We want to remind you that carrageenan has been part of our diets for centuries even before everyone was made aware of their exact uses.
So why do people confuse this for as a harmful substance? The confusion is mainly caused by the two forms of carrageenan: undegraded carrageenan and degraded carrageenan. The undegraded carrageenan is what manufacturers put in food, this type of carrageenan is not processed; it’s extracted from natural seaweed.
On the other hand, degraded carrageenan is harmful when consumed; in order to lessen the confusion, they named it poligeenan. The process of poligeenan is very different from the carrageenan’s process; it’s harsher since poligeenan is put though various baths of strong acid, that’s why it’s dangerous when consumed. Unfortunately, a lot of people still refer to poligeenan as degraded carrageenan, thus the remaining confusion. When you really think about it, all this issue about carrageenan is only caused by confusion and unfounded hate towards the ingredient.
In reality, if carrageenan was banned from being used on food then the food industry would suffer. In order to produce their products with the same taste and texture then they might resort to using harsh chemicals or ingredients and then that would get banned; it would be overly impractical since carrageenan is safe to use in the first place.