Where Does Carrageenan Come From?

The food additive carrageenan is known to be one of the most important products of today since it’s being used as an ingredient by manufacturers in processing foods that we often love to eat after grabbing it from the grocery. This ingredient is often used in food products such as ice cream, yogurt, soy and almond milk, as well as cheeses as a thickener and emulsifier. It improves the texture of the food products in order to give its physical appearance and its overall feel when eaten in a way that’s distinguishable.

The Nature of the Product

But where does it come from? Some people tend to think that this is a synthesized product which came from certain chemicals, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, this product can be considered as somewhat natural since it came from a type of algae. The red seaweed is harvested from the bodies of water where it came from, and is them processed using alkaline methods done over many steps. After these procedures have been done, the additive is then ultimately produced. Once it’s being produced, the manufacturers can then use it as a way to thicken and emulsify the product.

To those who are concerned about the product being cancerous, take note that it’s not actually carrageenan, but poligeenan. This is known as the degraded from of the former since it still came from the red algae, but is processed through the means of preparations using acidic solutions. This unsafe form is capable of causing growth to cancer cells, and is the product that you must watch out instead.

You can say that this additive is safe since it uses a procedure where the non-cancerous form is being made, rather than the cancerous poligeenan. Now that you know about this product, you can safely claim that it’s good to buy your beloved food products and desserts made out of this ingredient.