Carrageenan has been used by the food industry in the US since the 1950s.
Traditionally refined carrageenan is produced by extracting it from the seaweed and filtering the extract to remove cellulose and other substances.
Joanne Tobacman, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, published a safety review of carrageenan in Environmental Heath Perspectives.
The market for wild red seaweeds, from which some carrageenans are traditionally derived, has become volatile and extremely tight in recent years.
By developing a full range of refined carrageenans produced from cultivated seaweeds, Cargill is able to reduce these sourcing risks and meet customer demand for a more sustainable carrageenan supply with more predictable prices as cultivated seaweeds provide a more controlled and reliable supply.
Bernard quemener, Measurement of carrageenans in food: Challenges, progress, and trends in analysis, Trends in food science and technology, 10(4-5): 169- 181.
Colorimetric determination of carrageenans and other anionic hydrocolloids with methylene blue, Analytical chemistry, 66: 4514 - 4521.
Natural carrageenans are mixtures of different sulphated galactans; they occur as very versatile hydrocolloids .
From about 15 principal structure types of carrageenans , two galactans, called kappa and iota carrageenan (Fig.
Intestinal effects of carrageenans in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta).
In rodent models, there is clear evidence that degraded carrageenan can induce ulcerations and neoplasms.
Undegraded carrageenans in vitro can inhibit binding of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), transforming growth factor [beta]-1, and platelet-derived growth factor but not insulin-like growth factor-1 or transforming growth factor-[alpha] (121).
Twenty-five percent of total carrageenans in eight food-grade carrageenans were found to have molecular weight < 100,000, with 9% having molecular weight < 50,000 (9).
Previously, the JECFA considered modification of their recommendation about carrageenan to include a minimum average molecular weight (3,4).
Extensive experimental data have demonstrated that a) degraded carrageenan produces neoplasms and ulcerations in animal models; b) acid hydrolysis, such as occurs in the stomach, leads to the production of degraded carrageenan from food-grade carrageenan; and c) food-grade carrageenan contains significant amounts of degraded carrageenan.