What is Carrageenan?
Carrageenan is an essential food ingredient known for its various uses and benefits when it comes to wellness and health. The ingredient also known as Irish moss is extracted from a common natural source called the red seaweed. In the past, it was used as a cure for tummy upsets, colds and coughs.
Uses of Carrageenan
Carrageenan can be used to prevent the separation of chocolate milk as it suspends the chocolate in the solution. Carrageenan reduces the wastage of food by retaining its desirable nature and for a long time. In some cooked meat types, Carrageenan is used to retain the moisture of the meat thus improving its moisture. In setting deserts, the food ingredient is used in place of gelatin as a vegan.
Since 2013, several organisations have led various against carrageenan such as the Stonyfield Organic which threatened to end its use in the globally. WhiteWave Foods is other organisations against the product. In 2014, they announced to exclude the ingredient from Silk nondairy as well as from the Horizon Milk according to the demands of their customers. The campaigns have spread all over the media and health food websites with claims that carrageenan has problems to human health that includes; resistance to insulin, chronic inflammation, ulcerative colitis and the inflammatory bowel disease.
The safety of carrageenan
With the widespread health concerns about carrageenan, it is important to note that, the sources are not reliable. Carrageenan is a safe food additive in the food industry. Its safety has been confirmed by several dietary studies and researches including regional regulatory authorities such as Europe, Brazil, and the United States among others. For the last 40 years carrageenan consumption it has been proved to have no harmful effects to human health as an ingredient.