Carrageenan is a food additive and ingredient that is extracted from seaweed. The red seaweed is boiled in a gentle broth, filtered and milled to produce a fine powder.
It has become a favorite ingredient for many because of the many advantages it offers. One of its benefits is that it keeps meat tender when cooking. Carrageenan can also be used by vegans in desserts as an alternative to gelatin. It is also used to prevent chocolate from separating with chocolate milk in addition to making food retain its taste for longer. It is added to food just like salt and pepper and so one doesn’t need to be concerned about its use.
Its relation to Poligeenan
The confusion about the additive came about because of another substance known as poligeenan which was at one point referred to as carrageenan. Poligeenan is used in medical imaging and today it is known as degraded carrageenan. The type that is found in food is under graded carrageenan and so the similarity between the two names is what causes confusion. Poligeenan is washed in acid at close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people have come out saying that carrageenan can be converted to poligeenan in the stomach since the stomach contains acids. But this is not possible because the temperature in the stomach is only 99 degrees Fahrenheit, half of what is required. Additionally, the acid in the stomach is only 2.5 on the pH scale as compared to the acid that is used industrially which is 1 on the scale.
Is it safe?
Several reports have come out of late regarding the health benefits of carrageenan but it is important to note that we are living in a post-truth world. This means that one has to careful about the content that they believe and some studies might be misguided. Carrageenan has not been found to harmful and it is trusted and used widely in the food industry today. Therefore, it is entirely healthy and you can use it without worrying about anything.
Getting Healthier By Eating Better
The modern world has shifted opinions on food quite a bit over the past few decades. There was a time not too long ago when fast food was king. But more and more evidence has come up to show the inevitable results of a junk food based lifestyle. Most people found themselves at an impasse. They wanted to eat better, but were convinced that one needed to be rich or have some amazing cooking skills in order to do so. It’s only fairly recently that this misconception has been cleared up for a significant and ever growing number of people. The world is discovering that it’s actually quite simple to eat cheap and healthy meals. Even better, these are often not only healthier but tastier alternatives to unhealthy options. For example, gelatin can be tasty. But the lists of ingredients can quickly destroy one’s appetite. That’s where some creative cooking can come into play. One can substitute carrageenan into the recipe and make delicious vegan gelatin.
A healthy ingredient with some surprising benefits
That’s hardly the limit to carrageenan though. People are discovering that it’s an ingredient that has a huge amount of versatility. As with gelatin, it’s one of the primary ingredients used to make animal based meals into a vegan or vegetarian alternative. But even better than that there’s some amazing health benefits to be found with it. People have long known that Japan’s population is among the healthiest in the world. One of the biggest reasons for this is that seaweed, or kelp, is a favorite food of the Japanese people. What many people don’t know is that carrageenan is actually made from seaweed. This brings along the health benefits of seaweed while adapting it to a far wider variety of foods. It’s a way of eating healthy while also getting some great tastes at the same time.
How Do We Know?
It’s important to know what ingredients come in the items we consume daily. There’s times where researching what goes into our bodies is crucial. So let’s explore and be healthy.
Carrageenan’s an ingredient to discuss. It’s an ingredient in foods providing wide varieties of uses. Sometimes the additive’s used as an alternate vegan option to gelatin. The properties of this ingredient is unique. When combined with cooked meats moisture’s retained within. It prevents separation, for example, chocolate in milk won’t separate. Use of Carrageenan prevents food waste with allowing foods to stay fresh for longer periods of time. You’re probably consuming it regularly without realizing it.
Where Do you Find It?
So Carrageenan, known for it’s health benefits, comes from Seaweed. Then this is found and extracted from Red Seaweed. This process includes boiling the plant within broth with non acidic properties. Next the ingredient’s filtered and milled. A fine powder’s created. Lastly the ingredient’s added to varieties of foods.
It’s possible to achieve this process within your own kitchen. It’s that easy. However people in Ireland utilized Carragreenan hundreds of years ago. They used this ingredient in several meals.
It’s additive for obvious reasons. Carragreenan’s added to foods. Therefore it’s similar to salt and pepper. However this doesn’t mean you have to avoid it. Not all additives are bad for your health. Maybe you’ve come across sites that suggest otherwise. Perhaps a popular cooking or health food site. Sometimes separating truth from myth produces complications. Simply do research if you’re unsure.
There aren’t any discoveries regarding Carragreenan causing negative affects. The ingredient’s very safe and continues it’s usefulness in the food industry. You’re safe to enjoy foods with or without carrageenan. But why not use ingredients to boost your health.