carrageenan is an ingredient that is used in different food items. It is an FDA- approved additive which is mainly prepared from seaweed. This ingredient has found its way in a wide range of food items and in also some dairy products like ice cream, sour cream and chocolate milk.
What is Carrageenan?
This ingredient also finds its application in some alternatives like soy, hemp or almonds and coconut milk. The main reason behind using this additive is that it helps to thicken, emulsify and in most cases. Though it has been approved by the FDA that it is safe to use but in recent years the safety of this particular ingredient has been brought under question. Research studies have revealed that consumption of this additive is one of the main reasons of intestinal inflammation.
Problem with this
However, research findings funded by the International Food Additives council published in the journal Food and Toxicology claims that Carrageenan does not cross the intestinal epithelium. Now this epithelium is the barrier in the intestine which allows the good things to pass but stops the bad or toxic items from moving into the intestine. So, therefore, according to the studies this additive is potentially not harmful.
But this study is considered to be biased by some sources. This is because the study was funded by the Food Council itself and no council wants its product to be cancelled. However, it would be wrong to accuse any product on such a small basis. Just because of the speculation people are trying to shift to some other products.
But the main question lies in the fact that whether the new alternatives are perfectly all right or not. The main problem is in the fact that the alternatives to Carrageenan are not purely perfect so that they can be replaced.