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Why Infant Formula and Other Foods Need Carrageenan

Oct 05, 2015 06:42AM ● Published by Family Features

(Family Features) For hundreds of years, carrageenan has been used in kitchens all over the world for its ability to enhance food’s texture and structural properties, ultimately making food and drinks, including infant formula, better tasting and more nutritional.

Carrageenan, a soluble fiber derived from red seaweed, helps maintain the consistency of foods and drinks with less sugar, fat or sodium and aids in extending the shelf life of natural and organic foods, making them readily available worldwide. One of the most notable functions of carrageenan is nutrient suspension.

Without carrageenan, added vitamins (like calcium) and protein in enriched milks and dairy beverages will settle at the bottom of the glass or meal replacement drink carton. And simply stirring or shaking a drink isn’t enough to redistribute added vitamins and protein. Once they’ve settled out, some portion of the added nutrients will remain stubbornly lost at the bottom of the glass no matter how hard you shake.

Because of its ability to maintain the uniformity of beverages, carrageenan is often included in infant formula to ensure every drop is packed with the nutrients necessary for babies 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 receives some of the nutrients they need.

In order for infant formulas to continue to improve and become an increasingly viable alternative for those in situations where breastfeeding isn’t possible, ingredients like carrageenan can be used to maximize the effectiveness of each formulation and allow safe access to nutrition for more children around the world, particularly in regions with unreliable water quality where malnutrition is prevalent.

Whether in beverages made for infants or adults, nutrient suspension provides a foundation for proper nutrition. Carrageenan is an organic, sustainable ingredient that makes a healthy diet possible for people around the world throughout their lives, starting from day one.

For more information on carrageenan, visit FoodScienceMatters.com.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

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