ingredient information
Carrageenan Gum
Carrageenan: A stabilizer and emulsifier, seaweedlike in odor, derived from Irish moss, used in oils in cosmetics and foods. It is used as an emulsifier in chocolate products, chocolate-flavored drinks, chocolate milk, gassed cream (pressure-dispensed whipped cream), syrups for frozen products, confections, evaporated milk, cheese spreads and cheese foods, ice cream, frozen custard, sherbets, ices, French dressing , artificially sweetened jellies and jams. It is used for producing gels. Carrageenan stimulated the formation of fibrous tissue when injected under the skin of guinea pigs. When a single dose of it dissolved in saline was injected under the skin of the rat, it caused sarcomas after approximately two years. Its cancer-causing ability may be that of a foreign body irritant, because upon administration to rats and mice at high levels in their diet, it did not appear to induce tumors, although survival of the animals for this period was not good. The final report to the FDA of the Select Committee on GRAS Substances stated in 1980 that although no evidence in the available information demonstrates it is a hazard to the public at current use levels, uncertainties exist, requiring that additional studies be conducted. Carrageenan is at this writing on the FDA list for cancer study since it is a carcinogen in animals. The JECFA (see) requested in 2003 that, based on laboratory results, carrageenan should be restricted in infant formulas but that it is acceptable for use as a food additive for adults.