Heavy Cream Without Carrageenan: Is It Safer?

Carrageenan is a popular additive in dairy products like heavy cream, ice cream, infant formula, and plant milk to stabilize and emulsify them. However, carrageenan has some side effects and has raised eyebrows.

Consuming carrageenan in dairy products has been associated with conditions like diarrhea and gastritis. As a result, there are suggestions that this ingredient should be removed from dairy products.

Let’s take a look at the benefits and downsides of carrageenan in heavy cream.

What is heavy cream?

Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is a high-fat dairy product. It is a homogenized blend of milk and milk fat. According to the labeling standards of the Food and Drug Administration, it contains about 36 to 40 percent milk fat.

In this case, this milk fat has been emulsified and mixed thoroughly into the milk. This way it does not become separated.

You can use heavy cream in cooking sweet and savory foods such as desserts and pasta. Due to its higher fat content, it produces richer and creamier results.

Heavy cream is also very sturdy and can hold peaks. It is low in carbs and suitable for keto diets.

What is carrageenan?

Carrageenan is named after a seaweed that grows along the coast of Ireland near a village called Carragheen. It is a water-soluble fiber found in specific kinds of seaweeds.

Carrageenan is used as a thickener or food stabilizer in products like ice cream, soy milk, snacks, and food.

It has gelling properties, which enable a mouth-feel texture for certain foods. Also, people have used it for centuries in food preparations.

Although the carrageenan seaweed is from Ireland, most of the ones used in food processing come from Indonesia and Vietnam.

Some also come from the Philippines and other pacific islands. Additionally, people have used it in the United States for more than 50 years.

Heavy cream without carrageenan

Heavy cream is safer without carrageenan. Though it has no nutritional value or flavor, many heavy cream producers have used this additive for a variety of reasons.

One of the reasons is because of its gelling properties. It makes it usable in heavy cream as a thickening agent and stabilizer. Another reason is that you can use it to stop milk in heavy cream from separating.

Producers add it to heavy cream because it imitates the creaminess of heavy cream. It also gives off a rich, thick, and cream-like texture.

However, due to the controversy surrounding this additive, it is advisable to buy heavy cream that does not contain it.

The reaction of people after finding out the negative effects of carrageenan made many manufacturers produce heavy cream without it.

This additive is an imitation cream. So, there is a decrease in demand for it during the manufacturing process of heavy cream.

Besides, since people consume it for its pure flavor, the quality of the pasteurized and non-carrageenan heavy cream is very high.

The negative effects of carrageenan have been made clear. It is wiser to buy and use heavy cream without this questionable additive.

Is adding carrageenan to heavy cream a risk?

Yes, it is. Carrageenan is made with acid. The acid degrades it and turns it into a substance called poligeenan. The component carries a very significant health warning.

Poligeenan is a substance that can cause inflammation and toxicity to the digestive tract. It may also be responsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even colon cancer.

Brands that produce heavy cream with carrageenan as part of the ingredients might be labeled natural. But, limited studies show how much damage it does to the body.

The increased inflammation it causes may also lead to a greater likelihood of diseases. These may include; inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, tendonitis, or gallbladder inflammation.

There have been petitions for products like heavy cream with carrageenan to be labeled with a warning or removed completely.

In 2016, the National Organic standards board voted to remove carrageenan from its approved use. Accordingly, heavy cream products with carrageenan will not be labeled “USDA organic.”

Do all heavy creams contain carrageenan?

No, not all heavy creams contain carrageenan. Many farmers and producers of heavy cream have taken it upon themselves to manufacture very healthy and additive-free heavy creams.

Comparatively, carrageenan as an ingredient is something that can easily be removed. The additive is of no nutritional value and adds no flavor to heavy cream.

Brands that produce heavy cream without carrageenan

Some brands produce without this additive. To get brands like this, ensure you get the regular, pasteurized, and organic version of heavy cream. Some of these brands are:

1. Anderson Erickson

The Anderson Erickson heavy whipping cream is all-natural with a fresh taste. They receive milk daily from Iowa farms. This results in a cream that whips fast and maintains its body and texture.

The Anderson Erickson Heavy whipping cream is free from this additive.

2. Clover Sonoma Organic

This brand of heavy cream is organic and fresh. It contains 40% butterfat and is of optimal quality. When you use this heavy cream, you’ll notice its texture and amazing taste. It is free from carrageenan.

3. Organic Valley Organic

If you are looking for a good heavy cream brand that is free from carrageenan, Organic Valley is for you. It is pasteurized, ridding it of the wrong ingredients.

4. Byrne Fresh Dairy

Bryne offers fresh, great-tasting dairy heavy cream that stays fresher and longer with no additives.

It is made in a sterile environment and offers the longest shelf life even without carrageenan. Furthermore, Byrne fresh dairy heavy cream comes from local farms to your table.

Organic heavy cream without carrageenan

Organic heavy cream contains 40% milk fat content. The milk for organic heavy cream is sourced from local farms and goes through UHT processing, which prolongs shelf life.

Organic heavy cream is without carrageenan, which makes it 100% safe, natural, and at the peak of perfection.

Moreover, without the gel property of carrageenan, the organic whipping cream allows for a beautiful whipping to top a cake. In addition, this also applies to ice cream sundaes or bowls of organic berries.

It is also excellent for recipes for homemade ice cream, cream soups, and classic baked foods.


Where can you buy heavy cream without carrageenan?

You can buy heavy cream without carrageenan at a farmer’s market and a local dairy farm. This way, you can guarantee you are buying organic heavy cream.

What is another name for carrageenan?

Carrageenan is also known as Chondrus Crispus (commonly known as Irish Moss).

How many calories are in one cup of heavy cream?

821 calories. A cup of heavy cream also contains 6.6g total carbs, 88.1g fat, 4.9g protein, and 821 calories.

Does heavy cream naturally have carrageenan?

Heavy cream in its natural form does not have carrageenan. In cases where you buy heavy cream with carrageenan, it was processed artificially with acid into it.


Carrageenan, which is supposed to be a natural additive, is unhealthy. It is also without flavor or nutritional value, which makes replacing heavy cream with carrageenan easy.

Check the label of the product you’re buying to identify if the heavy cream is pasteurized. Primarily, it must also abide by USDA standards.

So before you buy, check carefully. If you need more clarification, call the company’s number on the label.

Thank you for reading.

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