If you’ve ever taken a look at your coffee creamer or deli meat ingredients list and wondered about carrageenan, you’re not alone. Today we’re breaking down everything to know about this food additive and emulsifier, using the most trustworthy and recent studies with help from our friends at Consensus. Consensus is a search engine that uses AI to find and synthesize answers from scientific research. If you’re tired of ads, SEO hacks, and misinformation filling your search results (like we are), find out what the research says with Consensus.
The best part? We’re integrating this up-to-date, reliable information in the Trash Panda app to help us all stay educated. The next time you click on a flagged ingredient, check out the link under sources titled See the Latest Scientific Studies on Consensus and see it for yourself!
What is Carrageenan?
Carrageenan is an additive used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve foods and drinks. It is processed from red seaweed and worldwide consumption has been increasing in recent years. Though a common food additive, groups have been campaigning for products with carrageenan to be labeled with a warning since the 1960s.
What is Carrageenan Found In?
Carrageenan is commonly found in vegan and vegetarian products and is used as a substitute for gelatin (which is produced with animal product). Products to look out for include:
Plant milks (like almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk)
Deli meats / meat products
Why Do We Flag Carrageenan?
We flag carrageenan as potentially harmful in the Trash Panda app because it has been linked to gastrointestinal disease and inflammation - which may cause heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Carrageenan may also promote or lead to: bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, glucose intolerance, and food allergies. Products may contain this additive and still be labeled as natural, so it's always good to take a quick scan with Trash Panda to double check.
Despite being approved by the FDA, we recommend keeping an eye out for Carrageenan, especially if you are noticing any negative side effects after consumption. As research continues to update with time, we will keep our ingredient library equally updated.
All of the potentially harmful and questionable ingredients in Trash Panda are based on scientific studies, and our new partnership with Consensus allows us to offer the most up-to-date information on all the ingredients you want to know about.
Don’t forget to download the Trash Panda app to learn more about the ingredients in your food and make reading labels easy.