Often when you walk into the food store, you will often find many organic food products containing some weird ingredients in it. By weird what one can mean is that the ingredient can be completely new to you. One such ingredient which is found in most of the processed or organic food product is carrageenan. It is also known by many other names like Carageen, Algus, etc.
What It Is?
Basically, it’s a group of sulphated polysaccharide that are extracted from seaweed or red algae. It has got a thickening and gelling property which is the reason for being used as a thickening or a gelling agent.
There are two different types of carageen that is almost same but differs in its molecular weight. The difference is mainly due to its manufacturing process. One of them being the refined form and the second one is the lesser-refined form. The FDA has approved the food-processing industry to use the undegraded form of carrageenan as it does not contain any form of toxic material in it.
How It Helps?
- Carrageen helps to stimulate the release of glutamate from glia cells to the neurons. Having anti-inflammatory property it helps to release the glutamate at the sites of the inflammation. Thereby, it helps in treating the swelling easily.
- The anti-oxidant property of the carageenan helps the body to fight against the free radicals. This means it can help to fight against the oxidative stress, thereby preventing the cells from getting damaged.
- It helps in lowering down the cholesterol level.
- This effective ingredient is also helpful in order to get rid of the irritation and discomfort of the stomach.
- This ingredient also provides a great support for the bowel movement and avoids any digestive problems.
The stabilizing property of this ingredient helps it to use in a wide variety of food products like soy milk, whipping cream, cottage cheese, sauces, etc. Apart from enriching the flavor of the food, this ingredient helps in the protein binding function.