Carrageenan- Consumer Friendly Toothpaste Thickening Ingredient
There are several brands of toothpaste available in the market. Some general ones while some are medically prescribed. But we all need to have good oral hygiene products and toothpaste in the most important one. Several companies like Tom’s of Maine who are in the business since 1970s use Carrageenan as the toothpaste thickening agent and are approved by Food and Drug Administration department.
The Safe Ingredient
There are several ingredients used by food industry for various purposes. Carrageenan which is an additive is derived from red seaweed Chondrus Crispus. It does not have any nutritional value but is very useful as thickening and emulsifying ingredient to smoothen the texture of ice-cream, frozen yogurt, cottage cheese and several processed foods. It is safe to consume.
Carrageenan is purely vegetarian extract and can be used as an alternative to gelatin in many processed food and oral hygiene products. As it is purely vegan natural resource it has its applicability worldwide. It does not have side effects.
There are mainly three commercial categories of mentioned ingredient. Kappa, lota and Lambda. Each of them has different applications. They used in manufacturing gels or thickening agents in dairy products.
Although it is mainly used as a thickening agent in tooth paste and processed food products it has been observed that it may be useful in several illnesses like cough, bronchitis, tuberculosis, weight loss, constipation, peptic ulcers, intestinal problems and many others. It contains chemicals which reduce the secretions inside stomach and intestine. It pulls water towards intestine and can effectively used as a laxative.
One can conclude that although raised objections by several health groups but is proven that Carrageenan has several applications in terms of oral hygiene, food processing or medical ailments. Such matters of public concern and is consumed on daily basis one should always be aware of its pros and cons.