Does Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk Contain Carrageenan?

Almond milk has become a popular dairy alternative for those looking to avoid lactose or animal products. However, not all almond milk brands are created equal.

One common ingredient found in many almond milk brands is carrageenan, a seaweed-derived stabilizer and thickening agent. Some studies suggest that carrageenan may be harmful to the GI tract and even promote tumor growth.

So, does Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk contain carrageenan? Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and find out.

Does Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk Contain Carrageenan?

After examining the ingredients list for Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk, it appears that this brand does not contain carrageenan. The ingredients listed are: water, almonds (2.3%), calcium (tri-calcium phosphate), sea salt, stabilisers (locust bean gum, gellan gum), emulsifier (lecithins (sunflower)), vitamins (B2, B12, E, D2).

While there are stabilizers and emulsifiers listed, none of them are carrageenan. This makes Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk a good option for those looking to avoid this controversial ingredient.

What Is Carrageenan And Why Is It Used In Almond Milk?

Carrageenan is a substance extracted from red and purple seaweeds, specifically Irish Moss. It is a mixture of polysaccharides that is commonly used as a thickening and emulsifying agent in processed foods, including some almond milk brands. Carrageenan is added to give products a fuller consistency, especially low-fat products, and to prevent ingredients from separating.

While carrageenan has been used in food since the 1930s, its safety has been under scrutiny in recent years. Some studies suggest that it can be harmful to the gastrointestinal tract and even promote tumor growth. In 2012, the National Organics Standard Board allowed its use in organic food production for another five years, but it remains a controversial ingredient.

It is important to note that not all almond milk brands contain carrageenan. However, it is a common additive in many dairy and faux-dairy products, so it is important to read labels carefully if you have gastrointestinal issues or want to avoid this ingredient. Making your own almond milk at home is also an option to ensure that you know exactly what is going into your milk.

The Potential Health Risks Associated With Carrageenan Consumption

Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from red seaweed and is used as a thickener and emulsifier in processed foods. While food-grade carrageenan is approved by the FDA for use in the United States, there are concerns about its potential health risks. Some animal studies have linked degraded forms of carrageenan to ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, and undegraded carrageenan has also been associated with malignancies and stomach problems.

Exposure to carrageenan, in the amounts contained in processed foods, has been found to cause inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, coronary artery disease, and cancer. Researchers have even used carrageenan to cause inflammation in tissues to test the anti-inflammatory properties of new drugs.

Furthermore, laboratory mice exposed to low concentrations of carrageenan for 18 days developed “profound” glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action, both of which can lead to diabetes. A study by researchers in Canada and at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published in 2017 found that consuming carrageenan can lead to ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The research revealed that in most cases, carrageenan promoted intestinal ulcerations and other changes similar to those seen in humans with IBD.

Despite such findings, carrageenan is still approved by the FDA as an additive and remains in wide use in many food products. The European Union has banned it in infant formula, but no such step has been taken in the U.S. Many people have reported side effects such as bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (manifesting as diarrhea, bloating, belly pain or cramps), and other digestive issues after consuming carrageenan-containing products. They found relief when they discontinued carrageenan from their diet.

Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk Ingredients: Is Carrageenan Present?

If you are concerned about the presence of carrageenan in your almond milk, it is important to carefully examine the ingredients list. In the case of Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk, there is no carrageenan listed. Instead, the ingredients include water, almonds (2.3%), calcium (tri-calcium phosphate), sea salt, stabilizers (locust bean gum, gellan gum), emulsifier (lecithins (sunflower)), and vitamins (B2, B12, E, D2).

While stabilizers and emulsifiers are present, they serve a different purpose than carrageenan. Locust bean gum and gellan gum are used to thicken and stabilize the milk, while lecithins (sunflower) act as an emulsifier to help mix the water and almond components together. Overall, these ingredients are considered safe for consumption.

It is worth noting that some brands of almond milk may still contain carrageenan, so it is important to read the label carefully before making a purchase. However, if you choose Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk, you can rest assured that there is no carrageenan present in the product.

Alternatives To Carrageenan-containing Almond Milk Brands

For those who are looking for alternatives to carrageenan-containing almond milk brands, there are a variety of options available. One option is to make your own almond milk at home using raw or pre-soaked almonds, filtered water, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or raw honey. This allows you to control the ingredients and avoid any additives that you may be sensitive to.

If making your own almond milk is not an option, there are several brands that offer carrageenan-free almond milk. For example, Silk almond milk is a popular brand that does not contain carrageenan. Other brands that offer carrageenan-free almond milk include Elmhurst Almond Milk and Califia Farms Almond Milk.

In addition to almond milk, there are also other dairy-free milk alternatives available such as oat milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk. These options are also available in carrageenan-free varieties and can be a good choice for those with sensitivities or allergies.

When choosing a dairy-free milk alternative, it is important to read the label carefully and look for ingredients that you may be sensitive to. If you are unsure about an ingredient or have concerns about a specific product, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist.

Conclusion: Should You Avoid Carrageenan In Your Almond Milk?

Based on the information presented, it is clear that carrageenan is a controversial ingredient that has been linked to gastrointestinal issues and even cancer in some animal studies. While the amounts of carrageenan found in food are generally considered safe for most people, those with gastrointestinal issues may want to consider avoiding it altogether.

If you are buying almond milk or other dairy alternatives, it is important to read the label and check for the presence of carrageenan. Many brands, including Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk, do not contain this ingredient and can be a good option for those looking to avoid it.

However, if you are concerned about the potential risks of carrageenan or have a sensitive digestive system, making your own almond milk at home may be the best option. This allows you to control exactly what goes into your milk and avoid any potential harmful additives.