Carrageenan! What is a carrageenanThis tough to pronounce word is a special ingredient, which is derived from red seaweeds. It is an edible component often used for thickening the food and its gravy in food industry. Its biological name is polysaccharides, and it is extracted from different kinds of algae. It is extremely famous for its gelling and thickening capacity in food industry from ages. It is very slippery, gentle and fragile that you can hardly hold it. Carrageenan has many names like – Carrageen Moss and in England as Irish moss.
Carrageenan is safe
Here question arises that is carrageenan bad. The answer is no it is not bad in fact, it is safe to use carrageenan in food and is helpful in cosmetics, and widely used in beauty products like – skin care products, waxing gels and creams, etc. It is also used in a newborn child’s powder drinks.
Carrageenan side effects are none and it is being widely used in food items especially in persevered foods items to emulsify them and thicken food items like – milk, curd, almond milk, milk shakes, coconut milk, ice creams etc. They are even used in organic food products. It is easily soluble in water this makes it easy to use it in any way. It has been declared safe by Joint FAO*/WHO** Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), it is a committee consisting of international experts.
Benefits of Carrageenan
People these days have a myth that carrageenan causes carrageenan cancer which is not true. A little amount of carrageenan can never cause such big diseases. In fact it has some unknown and uncommon benefits like – it helps in reducing cholesterol level, it also helps in smoothing the digestive system and reliefs from constipation problems which are common these days, it is also used to treat tuberculosis and other such diseases.