You probably have heard about the carrageenan rumor and how the substance can affect your health. You probably have avoided certain foods and drinks that are suspected of having the carrageenan. However, before you are easily fooled and affected by a rumor, it is advisable that you know the facts and the true condition. Only by doing research from different sources you can make a wiser decision without making a fool of yourself.
Carrageenan: The Truth
Carrageenan may come in many different names and shapes but its main function is the same: it acts as a natural food thickener or preservative that will add the taste and texture of the food. If you like the yogurts, for instance, you know that the package is always appealing and the form is attractive. Without the carrageenan, the yogurts will be likely watery because there is no gelatin that keeps the shape.
Despite the many benefits of carrageenan in the food industry, there is a rumor claiming that consuming too much carrageenan can be dangerous. Not only you may suffer from health issues, it is also possible that cancerous cells will develop inside your body. Such claim and rumor are even accompanied by scientific evidence about the danger of carrageenan.
However, it turns out that the subject of the test wasn’t the carrageenan but the poligeenan – a string of substance that has gone through the dangerous process in the making. To make poligeenan, the algae extract has to undergo acid bath and other chemical treatments. However, you shouldn’t worry because poligeenan isn’t used in the food industry. In fact, the usage of poligeenan has been limited since a hundred years ago.
There is no need to be paranoid either. It would be impossible for the poligeenan to be ‘accidentally’ present in your food. It takes a special facility and treatment to change the substance into the poligeenan and the regular facility for the food processing isn’t exactly the right one to produce poligeenan. If you ask yourself ‘What is carrageenan? Is it safe?’, now you know the answer.