Many individuals consider carrageenan to be a controversial product used in organic food. It is a well known fact that numerous non-organic yet essential ingredients are there who have successfully made their place in the organic food world. Baking powder is the best example of a non-organic ingredient that has successfully made its place in the natural food world. As numerous other essential products have been made more accessible, people consider carrageenan to be non-essential. Though this is true, but carrageenan has made its place in the natural food world. However, due to some common misconceptions, people end up thinking that excessive use of this food additive will cause carrageenan cancer.
Types of carrageenan
Scientific study however, claims something different. Specialists of the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives or JECFA are of the opinion that carrageenan used in food is not at all harmful. Studies have further proved that carrageenan is generally of two types- food grade and degraded. The very name food grade makes it clear that this form is used as a preservative as it has a thickening property. On the other hand, degraded carrageenan is derived by hydrolyzing native carrageenan. Once this process is conducted it loses its thickening property and is not safe to be used as a food preservative.
Initial use of carrageenan
Initially carrageenan was used to treat peptic ulcer pains. But, with the coming of degraded carrageenan its use as an ulcer curing agent has been avoided. However, this does not mean that native carrageenan also comes with carrageenan side effects. People still bear with the common myth that this sweetened derivative causes some gastro intestinal inflammations. This is mainly due to the fact that Dr. Joanne Tobacman claimed the same after researching with carrageenan. But, the truth is that he was dealing with degraded carrageenan.
This discussion makes it clear that using degraded carrageenan deserves a strict no for treating ulcer. Moreover, people coming up with the common query, is carrageenan bad will be happy to know that actually it is not.