What You Need to Know About Carrageenan

If you are the type of person that loves everything organic, then you must have heard about carrageenan.

Before you either close this page or dismiss about the safety of carrageenan, here are some facts that will prove they are completely safe.


What is it?

It is an ingredient taken from the red seaweed. It is used mainly to thicken foods. The name of this ingredient is derived from the seaweed species widely known as Irish Moss or Carrageen Moss in England, while in Ireland it is Carraigin. The latter has been widely used since back in 400 AD as either a home remedy to cure colds and cough and as gelatin.


Concerns over carrageenan

There are two forms of this ingredient, which are degraded and food grade. The latter has been used for years, even in the ancient times. It has been reviewed extensively and approved to be used in foods. The former is the one found to be harmful to the body, but it is not utilized to be used in foods. The reason is that it doesn’t have any properties that make food thicken. Even if both the food grade and degraded carrageenan have different uses, the harmful effects deemed by the use of this ingredient is the degraded form, which has been associated with the food grade.


Just how do you determine that the carrageenan ingredient that you see in your food is a safe one? The food-grade has been evaluated independently by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, which is an international organization responsible for reviewing and developing recommendations regarding food ingredients. This very same organization determined that the food-grade carrageenan was safe and that there are no limits to using it in food.


You might have read a thing or two regarding how harmful carrageenan is. But best be careful about the source you are reading it from.