Carrageenan is a naturally occurring ingredient that can be found in red seaweeds. This is very important in the food industry as it helps in thickening various kinds of food. Throughout the course of many decades, carrageenan has proved to be an essential part of most dairy products, as without it, most of these food products would not be consumable and would be too unstable to put in a container.
Where it Got Its Name
The name itself is derived from a specific species of seaweed that can be found in Irish Moss, England and in Carraigin, Ireland. The name of the seaweed is Carrageen Moss. It has been used in medieval times in Ireland and was used as a gelatin and cure for simple cough and colds. This proves that early man had already found that carrageenan is very effective in curing various respiratory illnesses even before the advent of modern medicine. This is also one of the reasons why food products that contain carrageenan are all safe and that they do not pose any health hazards.
International Organizations Intervention
Today, food products that contain carrageenan have already been carefully evaluated and inspected by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). This further ensures that carrageenan is indeed safe to consume and digest. Apart from the confirmation that it is safe to consume, it also has its own health benefits that will surely make people healthier if they consume food products that contain carrageenan in the long run.
To further add to the assurance that it is safe to consume, JECFA clearly states that food-grade carrageenan is a very safe food additive that can be added to various food products without any limit on the amount that is to be used per food serving.