There are mainly two types of Carrageenans. One is degraded carrageenans and other one is food grade carrageenans. Food grade is one type which is considered to be safe and is used in all the food products whereas the degraded one is found to be harmful and is not safe to be used in the food. Food grade is one which is derived from the red sea weed and is already approved by the WHO and by the committee of the experts in the food additives. They have already declared that it that is found to be natural is safe to use as an additive and can be taken without any limit. Degraded carrageenans which is now called as Poligeenan is put in a harsh acid and is not considered to being safe for usage.
This is the one which creates confusion with the food grade carrageenans. The only reason people believe that carrageenans causes health problems is because of the defect in the manufacturing units. There were concerns for people on many products that contain carrageenans. The reason behind this is due to the manufacturing defects .They use cheap ingredients in those products along with carrageenans so as to lower the cost of manufacturing. This will then result in low quality products thereby causing many health issues for the people. As per FDA this is considered to use safe in food products and is also safe in consuming. It should be taken care that the products that we use do not contain any cheap ingredients and the carrageenans extract is of the pure form. One of the main benefits for the carrageenans is that this removes the harmful chemicals that are included in the product. Carrageenan is considered to be safe for both the infants and the pregnant women. This is one factor that proves on the safety of the product.
A knowhow on the Harvesting
Some of the common harvesting areas of the carrageenans are Europe, Asia which includes some of the places like Japan, China and Korea. Based on the type and the water in which they grow the characteristics of the carrageenans differ from each other. As soon as the harvesting gets completed these are processed into products that are refined and semi refined. Refined products are products that are manufactured using the alcohol precipitation method. The products thus manufactured are of high quality with the least odour and the colour. Semi refined products will undergo the process which will be of simple alkali extracted and bleached. These are then dried and made into powder. Semi refined ones will be less costly when compared with that of the refined plant extract. Ideally, they are safe to use.