Our commercial modern foods today have been added and enriched with so many items. There are thickeners, flavor enhancers, sweetener, texture enhancers, and so much more. It is not really surprising to see carrageenan as one of the basic ingredients in the modern foods you usually consume. The question is: is carrageenan safe? How safe or dangerous is it? Can you consume it without having to deal with possible health problems? Let’s find out more about it, shall we?
Carrageenan: A Glimpse
The carrageenan is basically a substance that you can get from processing the red algae – a special type of algae that can only be found along the Irish coast. The native Irish people have used this substance for centuries to treat ailments. They have also used it in their foods to enhance the flavor and texture.
Only in the 1930s, the modern food industry in America had seen such potentials from the carrageenan so they try to include it in their modern food productions. After the substance had been screened, examined, and tested, the FDA declared it to be safe. And that’s how the substance got into the modern food industry.
The carrageenan is still in use up to these days but there were rumors concerning its usage and the possibility of serious ailments. Around the 2000s, there was a claim that the carrageenan was to cause serious digestive issues and the claim was supported by the scientific evidence. However, it was later found out that the research wasn’t actually valid because the subject used was poligeenan and not carrageenan.
Although poligeenan and carrageenan come from the same source of red algae, they are completely different. The carrageenan has gone through a very safe treatment and processing while the poligeenan hasn’t. In fact, poligeenan has to go through the acid bath that makes it super dangerous and harmful.