Is carrageenan safe? Carrageenan Safety Assessment

Is carrageenan safe? Carrageenan Safety Assessment


Carrageenan, one of the three major seaweed gums in the world, has many physicochemical properties such as forming hydrocolloid, gel, thickening, emulsification, film formation, stable dispersion, etc. It can be used as gelling agent, emulsifier, thickener or suspending agent, and is widely used in food industry, daily chemical industry and biochemical and medical research fields. So is carrageenan safe?

is carrageenan safe carrageenan safety assessment (3)(1)

Is carrageenan safe in China?

China: Carrageenan has been included in China's food additive catalog, and GB2760-2014 stipulates that carrageenan can be used in all kinds of food in appropriate amounts according to production needs (refer to the below table), and also stipulates its permitted use varieties, use range, and maximum use or residue amount.

Carrageenan Safety Assessment by WHO

World Health Organization: In 1974, the expert committee of the World Health Organization and International Food and Agriculture Organization (JECFA) considered that carrageenan is safe and reliable for food use. With the advancement of science and technology, JECFA has continued to evaluate carrageenan and has maintained the conclusion that there is "no need to establish limits".

carrageenan safety assessment by WHO

Is carrageenan safe in USA?

U.S.A.: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long listed carrageenan as a GRAS substance, and has found it to be safe for use in a variety of foods.


Carrageenan is allowed to be used in a variety of food products, the scope of use and the maximum use or residue level

Food Classification Number

Food Name

Maximum Use Amount (g/kg)



Thin cream

Use in appropriate amounts according to production needs

Butter and butter concentrate

Use in appropriate amounts according to production needs

Raw and wet noodle products (e.g. noodles, dumpling skins, wonton skins, roasted wheat skins)

Use in appropriate amounts according to production needs

Raw and dry noodle products




Other sugars and syrups (raw sugar, fructose (sucrose source), molasses, partially converted sugar, maple syrup, etc.)




Spice category

Use in appropriate amounts according to production needs



Infant formula


In terms of the amount used in ready-to-eat foods


Fruit and vegetable juice (pulp)

Use in appropriate amounts according to production needs

Increasing the use of solid beverages by dilution times

Degraded Carrageenan is Not Safe

Around 2000, a paper claimed that carrageenan caused colonic ulcers in experimental animals and that "degraded carrageenan" might promote tumor formation.

In response, JECFA organized a re-evaluation of carrageenan by leading experts from 10 countries.

After reviewing all the scientific evidence, the experts concluded that the paper's conclusion of "colon ulceration" was suspiciously "detached from dose to toxicity".

Based on data from Europe, the United States and Canada, it was estimated that a normal person would eat about 30 to 50 mg of carrageenan a day. The dose that causes intestinal ulcers is about 45,000 mg, which is equivalent to an adult eating 45 kg of jelly a day.

is carrageenan safe carrageenan safety assessment (4)(1)

Therefore, the experts reiterated that carrageenan is safe and there is no need to restrict its use in food.

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About Gino Biotech

We are a biotech company specialized in the research, development and commercialization of innovative and technological food additives hydrocolloids Agar Agar, Carrageenan and Tailor-Made Stabilizer Solutions.

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