Carragenan is an ingredient derived from red algae and seaweed. It is used as a food preservative and ingredient similar to gelatin (made from animal products). The use of carragenan is also in thickening domestic products and dairy products. The use of carrageenan has been from centuries for use in foods. The use of food ingredient of it is permitted and approved by all world bodies in several major countries.
Carrageenan can be made through simple method, involving the process of cooking seaweed by adding a little salt and some iota of food-grade alcohol. Mixing can be done through using a blender. Is carrageenan safe?
- In the USA, the use of carrageenan is allowed and approved under direct FDA regulations as a food additive
- The ingredient is said to be safe with the amount as for an emulsifier, stabilizer, or even thickener in foods
- FDA has also reviewed and approved carrageenan safety for infant food formula
- The National Organic Program (NOP) has added carrageenan to the National List
- A Joint expert committee of FAO and WHOP on food preservatives and additives has also stated that the use of carrageenan in infant food formula or for medical purposes with concentrations up to 1000 mg per litre is not of any concern at all
- Food safety authorities in Europe, China, Japan and Brazil have also found the use of carrageenan as safe in foods
The use of carrageenan as an additive or an ingredient in natural organic food, pet foods, dairy products and beauty and cosmetic products is totally safe and guaranteed against any health hazards from occurring. Carrageenan is certainly not one of the ingredients which have been found for their prevention for use as food ingredients.
The use of carrageenan, to the contrary is highly recommended one in food science, food technology, food safety and food security.
Without the addition of carrageenan, it is extremely difficult for many items of food in transportation of theirs in natural form in distant places. Without it, there can be preservation problems and short shelf life, adding to reaching natural foods to remotest corner and its accessibility to all the people. Carrageenan keeps a food product and even drinks not only safe and healthful but also nutritious for long term.
The appropriate doses of carrageenan in its medical use much depend on various factors such as age, present health, and other conditions. For the present, there is not appropriate finding to deterministic level as to what should be its appropriate doses, However, for its dietary use, its always safe for the kind of its present use as a food ingredient.