"AisleWizard is supported by its readers. Please assume all links are affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission from Amazon."

Does Trader Joe’s Almond Milk Have Carrageenan? (Explained)

Does Trader Joe's Almond Milk Have Carrageenan

Everyone who’s shopped at Trader Joe’s, the American grocery store chain, tends to enjoy it’s quirky and customer-focused corporate personality as much as they do niche dietary grocery options, such as almond milk. The question is, Does Trader Joe’s almond milk have carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a type of polysaccharide that comes from red seaweed which is used for it’s stabilizing properties in some forms of almond milk product. Trader Joe’s refrigerated almond milk does not generally contain carrageenan.

In this article, we’ll cover an understanding of almond milk and carrageenan as products, cover Trader Joe’s almond milk product specifically, discuss whether or not Trader Joe’s almond milk contains carrageenan as well as some health concerns, and even cover some frequently asked questions about the topic. 

Understanding Almond Milk and Carrageenan

Almond milk is an alternative to dairy because it is based in the nuts it is named after. It comes with it’s own unique flavor very different from cow or goat’s milk, but is used popularly in the same recipes as it’s dairy counterparts. 

Carrageenan, on the other hand, is what’s known as a polysaccharide. Polysaccharides are biomolecules made up of long chains of carbs, and can be found in both plants and animals as an energetic component. Carrageenan is a type of polysaccharide that is specifically found in a kind of red seaweed.

That red seaweed product is often placed in dairy or even non-dairy products to create a thicker, more milk-like consistency and as a bonding agent that keeps products like almond milk from separating into less-than pleasant-looking films and clouds.

Though polysaccharides like carrageenan are generally considered good for you, there have been some controversies surrounding it’s inclusion in these products.

This is because some carrageenan is undegraded, meaning it has been stripped of the ingredients that make it inflammatory to humans…but some carrageenan is degraded.

Degraded carrageenan can cause intense inflammation that contributes to upset bowels in human beings, and is even used on purpose by scientists trying to test laboratory animals for anti-inflammation pharmaceuticals.

Trader Joe’s Almond Milk Product

Now that we’ve covered exactly what almond milk is and what carrageenan is, as well as the relationship between the two, let’s go over Trader Joe’s almond milk product. Trader Joe’s sells what they call an “Organic Unsweetened Almond Beverage.”

This product is typically refrigerated, has no added sweetener, and is often used to make smoothies or as a substitute for milk in dairy-based recipes. It comes in a blue 32 fluid-ounce container and is sold at just shy of $2. It is well-liked for being full of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and even Vitamin B12.

The package is careful to warn consumers that although this is marketed as a dairy-alternative, Trader Joe’s does not guarantee that the product is completely free of contamination through traces of soy, milk, and other potentially inflammatory products.

Presence of Carrageenan in Trader Joe’s Almond Milk

Since we’ve covered what kind of almond milk related beverage Trader Joe’s sells to customers, let’s go over it’s actual ingredients and see whether or not carrageenan has made the list.

After all, Carrageenan has been used in almond milk products on most grocery store shelves to prevent that previously-mentioned unattractive separation in the dairy-free options.

  • Organic Almonds
  • Water
  • Sea Salt
  • Gellan Gum
  • Tricalcium Phosphate
  • Organic Locust Bean Gum
  • Vitamin D2
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • DL-Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate
  • Vitamin B12

This is concerning because those with sensitive stomachs or even irritable bowel syndrome can be negatively impacted by products they assumed were safer than dairy products thanks to the presence of degraded carrageenan. 

To make matters worse, companies are not legally required to put carrageenan on the ingredients panel of packaged products, even if it is present in the product itself. So how can we be sure that Trader Joe’s has no carrageenan in it’s almond milk beverage?

Well, because of the recent controversies involving carrageenan, it has become something of a selling point for grocers to actually mark on their packages whether or not their products contain carrageenan. 

Trader Joe’s can be taken in good faith because most of their products are careful to list even the possibility of contamination by irritants. Case in point: soy and dairy are listed on the package as a warning for their almond beverage!

Health Concerns Related to Carrageenan

There are a number of possible health issues related to carrageenan in it’s degraded state, as previously mentioned. These are listed below:

  • Greater Likelihood of Inflammatory Bowel Disease – IBS is one of the diseases that commonly plagues enough Americans already without being aggravated into existence by degraded carrageenan. It can cause trouble digesting and just general bowel discomfort.
  • Tendonitis – Tendonitis is the inflammation, not of the stomach, but actually of the tendons, making movement painful. Carrageenan cannot cause this on it’s own, but degraded carrageenan can make development of this disease more likely.
  • Bloating – The retention of gas and fluids known as bloating can be caused by carrageenan intake.

These are three of the main issues that carrageenan has been linked to. Studies are inconclusive and varied so far, but many even link carrageenan to colon cancer development, or the building up of food allergies where none were present before.

Ultimately, Trader Joe’s is a great recommendation for those who want to avoid products that contain carrageenan, like commonly sold almond milks.

Some of these which consumers will want to stay away from include Almond Dream and Great Value Almond Milk. However, products like Blue Diamond use undegraded carrageenan, which is safer.

Consumer Preferences and Attitudes Toward Almond Milk With or Without Carrageenan

After studies came out that possibly linked carrageenan to health scares like the development of colon cancer or IBS, consumers became outraged and took to social media platforms demanding that the ingredient be removed for it’s inflammatory properties. 

As of 2022, the FDA has declared carrageenan basically safe for consumption despite these outcries.

However, the bad press generated by carrageenan’s potential health risks has caused almost all mainstream almond milk brands to pull all carrageenan from their products, with the notable exceptions of Almond Dream and Great Value Almond Milk.

There are still plenty of health and food blogs warning readers of carrageenan’s potential negative impacts and recommending products like Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more info? Check out our section on Frequently Asked Questions!

Which Almond Milk Has No Carrageenan?

Trader Joe’s almond beverage has no carrageenan, and neither do most brands commonly sold on grocery store shelves, including Silk. The exceptions are Great Value and Almond Dream.

Which Almond Milks Have Carrageenan?

As previously stated, Blue Diamond has undegraded carrageenan in it’s almond milk product, which is considered un-inflammatory, but both Great Value and Almond Dream carry carrageenan in their almond milks.

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up, carrageenan has garnered controversy because although the FDA and scientific studies do not consider it strictly dangerous as an ingredient, it has been linked to gastrointestinal side effects when in it’s degraded form.

To make matters worse, it was used in many almond milk brands as a stabilizing component.

However, Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage is one of the drinks that consumers avoiding carrageenan can choose, since it is free of the ingredient. Other options include Blue Diamond, which is careful to only use the undegraded form of carrageenan.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

Recent Posts