Understanding Carrageenan

In order to understand more about anything, you need to do some research about it. The same applies to carrageenan. Until you read more about it, you may be misled by information that you will otherwise think is helpful. With this in mind, here are some quick insights into this product.

  • What is Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a natural carbohydrate which in other words is known as a polysaccharide. It is extracted from a specific type of seaweed that is mostly common in the Atlantic ocean. In order to extract this product, the seaweed is boiled for a given amount of time and produces a gum-like substance which is what is known as carrageenan. It has been used for many years in worldwide food production.

  • Why is it used in so many foods?

Most food brands use carrageenan in their products for one of the following four reasons.

  1. To thicken – to enhance the creamy nature of some beverage consistencies, this carbohydrate is used.
  2. To emulsify – This is basically to mix coconut oils and water together. This in turn guarantees the product’s nice and smooth texture.
  3. To Stabilize Crystals – these are meant for frozen products such as ice cream to help them maintain their creamy texture.
  4. To bind – As is the case with coconut oils and other natural and organic food products.
  • Is carrageenan safe for consumption?

The FDA assures that carrageenan is safe for human consumption. In addition, other food associations deem it as a safe product for daily intake. This means that there is no cause of alarm for this product in foods.

Are there any other information about carrageenan that consumers need to know?

Consumers need to understand that there are two types of carrageenan, the degraded and undegraded types. The undegraded type is the one that is approved for human consumption, the other one is not.

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