Reason for the Popularity of Carrageenan

Reason for the Popularity of Carrageenan

One of the most active ingredients that are found in most of the organic food products or processed food is carrageenan. This ingredient is a water-soluble fibrous substance that can help to work as an emulsifying and a thickening agent for food products. It is usually obtained from the red seaweed, through hot water process. This ingredient is known to the world by many other names like Algus or Carageen. Basically, it is considered as a food grade polysaccharide that has a unique gelling and thickening property.

Various Varieties

There are two different varieties of this ingredient. One is the undegraded from and the other one is the degraded form. Both of them comes from different species of seaweed and has different molecular weight or structure. The undegraded version is regarded to be safe for consumption by FDA. In fact, Food and Drug Administration classifies it as GRAS. The undegraded version has been known to be used for cooking since ages. In fact, the food grade carrageen has been evaluated independently by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives who have said that food-grade or undegraded carrageen to be safe food additive.

One of the common food additives, that are used to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, etc, is carrageenan. It is used for two main purposes. They are:

  • Conventional Medicine – this ingredient is used in many medicinal supplements in order to treat cough, intestinal problems, peptic ulcer, swelling etc.
  • Food Additive – The unique chemical structure makes it useful for being used as a binder, stabilizing agent, and as a thickening agent in a wide variety of food and health care products.

How It Can Benefit?

  • It helps the body to fight against the oxidative stress.
  • It helps in lowering down the cholesterol level.
  • It provides better bowel movement.

Consuming carrageenan products can help people to deal with a wide variety of health problems. Thus, the health and the fitness industry now prefer to go for this ingredient.

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