Science

Studies of Carrageenan

The food-grade carrageenan consumed by millions around the world every day has been extensively studied throughout its long history of use.

Scientists have determined that the carrageenan we use as a food stabilizer is safe, and does not contribute to the development or formation of tumors. Carrageenan does not interfere or harm embryonic development.

It has no ill effects on the gastrointestinal tract, while allowing us to absorb essential nutrients in our food without altering taste. It provides longer shelf life and better ‘mouth feel’ in the foods we buy.

Health Effects of Carrageenan

The best studies on food-grade carrageenan and low molecular weight carrageenan have all shown no adverse health effects in the use of carrageenan. These studies and papers include:

  • Myra L. Weiner, Toxicological Properties of Carrageenan. Agents and Actions 32, 46-51, (1991)

  • This paper summarizes and references the major toxicology studies that support the use of carrageenan in food.

 

A Ninety-Day Dietary Study on Kappa Carrageenan with Emphasis on the Gastrointestinal Tract

In this study scientists review the effects of carrageenan on the gastrointestinal tract and dispel erroneous conclusions that had suggested carrageenan could cause cell proliferation or tumor formation. The study was submitted and reviewed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.

  • M. L. Weiner, Nuber D., Blakemore W., Harriman J., and Cohen S. A Ninety-Day Dietary Study on Kappa Carrageenan with Emphasis on the Gastrointestinal Tract. Food and Chem. Toxicol. 45: 98-106 (2007)

  • This study was specifically designed to evaluate carrageenan on the gastrointestinal tract.  The sample of carrageenan used in this study   was characterized for the low molecular weight fraction.  After ingesting this carrageenan in feed for ninety days, no adverse toxicological effects on the gastrointestinal tract of the rat or any other organ system or tissue were observed.