Industry News / Gums and Hydrocolloids

New Study Proves no Adverse Effects of Carrageenan

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Aug 17, 2016

A new study on carrageenan, an ingredient key to delivering stability, texture and nutrients in many foods and beverages, demonstrates the ingredient does not induce inflammation in human cells as claimed by some critics.

The study, which was conducted by internationally recognized toxicologist and carrageenan expert Dr. James M. McKim Jr., was recently accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed journal Food and Toxicology. This study represents the culmination of two years of research that was unable to replicate any of the findings of carrageenan critics, including Dr. Joanne Tobacman, who claim the food ingredient contributes to certain adverse health outcomes.

Publication of McKim's study raises major questions about the validity of Tobacman's conclusions and underscores the importance of replicating scientific results in different laboratories and by multiple researchers. McKim's research was designed to investigate several recent studies Tobacman has cited as evidence of her claims that carrageen causes inflammation and is harmful.

Not only was McKim unable to replicate the negative effects Tobacman reported, his research showed carrageenan has no measurable effects on cells and provides strong evidence that carrageenan consumed in foods and beverages would not cause inflammation in humans.

The International Food Additives Council ( commissioned the study.