Carrageenan: What is It?

Posted in Food

Carrageenan: What is It?

Many food products contain some weird sounding components in it. The reason is that processed food has some incredible things that they have to do. For instance, a cookie might be made in Texas, travels across the country, and sits in a warehouse for some weeks before it is sold to you. When you open the package of the cookie at home, it expects it to look perfect. This is not an easy thing to obtain. As a matter of fact, things like cheese and liquids might be even more problematic to preserve.

List of Uses

This is reason food contains gums. Carrageenan is one such gum. Some of the main reason that food scientists use them has been mentioned below.

  • It thickens things such as ice cream, pancake syrup, and marshmallow fluff.
  • The ingredient can also emulsify things. It keeps the liquid together and keeps them from separating.
  • It changes the texture gradually and makes a thing stickier and chewier.
  • The gum is also used for stabilizing the crystals. It can also help in the prevention of the crystallization of ice or sugar.

All these properties of this ingredient prove to be handy in the preparation of food products that has to look good for several months.

Carrageenan is actually a seaweed extract. The seaweed has to be boiled for securing the ingredient. In this sense, it is a completely natural product. It is also used for medicinal purposes. Some of the common medicinal use of this extract has been mentioned below.

  • Tuberculosis
  • Coughs
  • Bronchitis
  • Bulk laxative
  • Intestinal issues
  • Treating peptic ulcers
  • Constipation
  • Pain and swelling

The extract can also be used if you are suffering from a skin itching and discomfort. If you want to lose weight then this extract might prove to be beneficial. However, it is always better to consult a health care before taking this health supplement.