Q: Why does the Pure Vanilla Meal Replacement contain Carrageenan?
A: Carrageenan is used as a thickening agent in foods like ice cream, yogurt, pudding, and cottage cheese. In personal care, carrageenan is used as a binder, fragrance ingredient, hair conditioning agent, and viscosity increasing agent. It is water soluble and derived from red seaweed. After more than 20 years of usage in foods and hundreds of studies, there is no conclusive evidence that shows it causes issues in the human body. The CIR Expert Panel has also studied the use of carrageenan in cosmetics and found it to be safe in present practices and concentration.
Most of the concerns regarding carrageenan’s safety are attributed to an article written by Dr. Joanne Tobacman in 2001. An independent international panel of expert toxicologists reviewed Dr. Tobacman’s research and noted that there was a difference between degraded carrageenan, or poligeenan, used in studies cited by Dr. Tobacman, and food-grade carrageenan.
Carrageenan has been approved by the USDA for use in organic foods and deemed safe by the World Health Organization and US FDA even for use in Infant Formula. The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) consequently concluded that the science determined that carrageenan was a safe food additive with no limits on its use in food. They assigned it an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of “not specified” – the most favorable category. We constantly monitor the research, the scientific community and the science behind this ingredient and feel that it is safe for use.
As part of the Modere commitment to high quality products, we are continually studying scientific evidence regarding controversial ingredients. When our scientists become aware of an ingredient with substantiated potential for irritation or concern, we seek to remove that ingredient from our products.