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Carrageenan in Infant Formula: Safe and Necessary

For hundreds of years, carrageenan has been used in kitchens all over the world for its ability to make foods more appealing through enhancing textural and structural properties, ultimately making our food and drink recipes not just better tasting, but better for us. Carrageenan has many added benefits – maintaining the product consistency in recipes with less sugar, fat or sodium to aiding in extending the shelf life of natural and organic foods, making them readily available for those all over the world, it’s hard to imagine our food supply without it. One of the most crucial functions of carrageenan is nutrient suspension.

Nutrient suspension is important to many of our food and drink products. Enriched milks and dairy beverages use carrageenan to maintain the proper consistency throughout storage, as added vitamins and protein are insoluble and would otherwise settle out. Can you imagine trying to drink a glass of milk with a layer of calcium on the bottom? Or finishing a protein-rich meal replacement drink only to realize that a portion of the protein remains at the bottom of the carton? The importance of carrageenan manifests itself in recipes like these – once settled out, there is no easy way to get the added vitamins back into suspension, not even shaking the bottle will do. Carrageenan is necessary to keep every bite, every sip of our enriched foods and beverages delivering the same experience with proportionate amounts of added vitamins and nutrients – an especially critical component for infant formula as babies need every drop to be packed with the nutrients necessary for them to develop and mature at a healthy rate.

Whether consuming an entire bottle or just a few swallows, the consistent mix that carrageenan provides ensures each child has received some amount of the nutrients they need. It’s imperative that infant formulas continue to improve and become an increasingly viable alternative for those in situations where breastfeeding isn’t possible. Through its functionality, carrageenan is maximizing the effectiveness of each formulation and allowing safe access to nutrition for more children around the world, particularly in regions with unreliable water quality where malnutrition is prevalent.

From infants to adults, nutrient suspension provides a foundation for proper nutrition. Carrageenan serves this purpose and offers an organic, sustainable ingredient capable of helping feed the world’s growing population and ensuring a healthy diet is possible for everyone throughout their entire lifecycle, starting from day one.

For more information on the functionality of carrageenan, please visit FoodScienceMatters.com.