Carrageenan: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:52 by admin
Carrageenan is a red seaweed extract commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North America. Seaweed is boiled to remove carrageenan, which is then used in a variety of foods such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Carrageenan acts to thicken and stabilize foods. It is also used as a fat substitute in processed meats.

A recent study by Dr. Joanne Tobacman of the University of Iowa found that carrageenan may cause intestinal ulcers and cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Although her research focused on animals, Tobacman says that "enough evidence exists" for humans to be concerned.

In 1972 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed limiting carrageenan use but later decided against the plan. According to Tobacman, "there has been no substantive review by the FDA of carrageenan since the studies undertaken more than two decades ago."

See Also

  1. Food Products & Restaurants
  2. Cancer
  3. Stomach Ulcers
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