Carrageenan is a commonly used thickener, which is mainly used in the food industry. The use of carrageenan can improve the color, fragrance and taste of food. Therefore, carrageenan is used in many food processing. So what are the main components of carrageenan? Is it harmful to the human body? Many consumers know nothing about carrageenan and seldom pay attention to the main components of carrageenan. Carrageenan is derived from Eucheuma, Gelidium, Hydrophilic colloid extracted from red algae seaweed such as carrageenan. Its chemical structure is the calcium, potassium, sodium and ammonium salts of polysaccharide sulfates composed of galactose and anhydrogalactose. Because of the combination of sulfates The different shapes can be divided into K-type (Kappa), I-type (Iota), and L-type (Lambda).
The component structure of carrageenan is composed of sulfated or non-sulfated galactose and 3,6-anhydrogalactose alternately connected by α-1,3 glycosidic bonds and β-1,4 bonds. In 1, The 3 linked D galactose unit C4 has a sulfate group. The molecular weight is more than 200,000, molecular formula: (C12H18O9)n.
Is carrageenan harmful to the human body? Although it is a food additive, many people still ask, is carrageenan harmful to the human body? Because many food additives are allowed to be added, but are inherently harmful to the human body to a certain extent of.
In fact, there is still some controversy regarding the safety of carrageenan. It is allowed to be used as a food additive because carrageenan in a reasonable dosage is not harmful to the human body.
And related research shows that carrageenan is an inhibitor of high-risk human papillomavirus infection. However, under high temperature and acidic environment, carrageenan will degrade, and the degraded components may have certain health risks. Too much carrageenan has been pointed out to inhibit the absorption of certain minerals such as potassium, and may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people.
Carrageenan is used as a food additive. The use of carrageenan in food has a certain limit. The reasonable use of carrageenan within a reasonable dosage is not harmful to the human body.
It must be admitted that excessive use of carrageenan does cause certain health hazards, especially for people with sensitive physique, it should be eaten in moderation, but as long as it is eaten within the range of safe usage, it is safe to use carrageenan. It is generally not harmful to the human body in reasonable consumption.