You might want to know more about nutrition facts of carrageenan since you already see it being used as ingredient in many kinds of products. The carrageenan itself is a substance which stays in the same category as sulfated polysaccharides. This substance is extract from edible red seaweed type using alkaline procedure. Because of the properties that this substance has that is able to stabilize, thicken and gel, it often used by food industry in creating their product. There are many kinds of products that uses this substance as additive, but most of the time, it is used on meat as well as milk product.
Important nutrition facts of carrageenan you should know
Learning about nutrition facts of carrageenan means that you need to know about the usage of this substance. Even though the substance can be used in different function, but there are two main use of carrageenan which is:
- Traditional medicine
Carrageenan is often used as the active ingredient inside different kinds of traditional medicine which can be used to treat many kinds of disease from intestinal issue to a simple cough. The nutrition facts of carrageenan have been used to decrease several disease symptoms such as swelling and pain. Furthermore the acidic variation of this substance can be use as bulk forming laxative as well as treatment for peptic ulcer symptoms.
- Additive in food
Carrageenan has very unique kind of chemical structure, this is why it is great to be used to bind, stabilize, and thicken many kinds of food as well as health and personal care product.
Besides those common usages of carrageenan, you should also know other fact of this substance.
First is the fact that because of this substance molecular weight, it cannot significantly being absorb or even metabolized by your body. This means that whenever you consume carrageenan, it will only flow throughout the GI tract which is very common for fiber and eventually it will be excreted in the feces. However, you should not be afraid since this substance would not affect your absorption on other substance.
You should know nutrition facts of carrageenan when you consume up to 5% of this substance in your diet, actually it does not have any toxic effect. However, if you exceed that amount then you will get some side effect such as diarrhea, and soft stool. This side effect is actually common in non-digestible fibers including this carrageenan.
Another fact is that the oligosaccharides inside carrageenan show that it has antioxidant activity. The activity itself can help to support the cells inside your body from conquering damage because of oxidative stress. Those stresses are often caused by free radicals which attack your body. The free radicals itself comes from many resource which you often encounter such as bad food or smoke that created by vehicle, factory and cigarette.
Other important nutrition facts of carrageenan that you might want to know is that this substance also helps with your digestive system since it can make your bowel movement become more regular. If you want to achieve this result, you can try to create carrageenan drink using traditional method. The traditional method that you can use is to boil an edible red seaweed type using milk or even water to create the drink.
Actually the traditional method to use carrageenan in food has already started since 600 BC; however the production of this substance to be used in food industry is only beginning in 1930s.
Based on the carrageenan production method of this substance, you can actually found two types of carrageenan in the market. The first is one is the undegraded carrageenan which is often used in food industry as a natural thickening agent. This type is created using alkaline procedure to crate the food grade carrageenan.
The second one is the degraded carrageenan which also called as poligeenan. Even though it is also called as carrageenan but it is different from the carrageenan that we found inside food. This type is created using acid solution which is why there are some risk on health in this product, thus it is not used in any food even though many people still mistakenly identify poligeenan as the carrageenan that we found inside the food. These nutrition facts of carrageenan are important to know.