10 Shocking Ingredients In Food Products You Don’t Know You Are Eating


It’s a fact of life that we have to eat to survive, and most people actually enjoy their food. The question is, how much do you actually know about what you are eating? Would you be shocked to discover ingredients such as crushed beetles, human hair and even anti-freeze in your food? You may find this hard to believe but all of these things actually make an appearance in some foods.

1: Human hair in bread

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Yes, you did read that correctly; L-cysteine is an amino acid used in baking. It helps to condition the dough. The most common way of obtaining L-cysteine is to extract it from human hair. This is because this is the cheapest and easiest option.


2: Beaver castor sac secretion in ice-cream

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When you are tucking into a dish of ice-cream do you really want to consider the fact that it could be flavoured with castoreum which is secreted from the castor sac of a beaver. Even worse, the castor sac is situated pretty close to the animal’s anal glands so there is a chance it could be mixed with secretion from there, as well as urine. Castoreum is used in the flavouring of strawberry, raspberry and vanilla ice cream.

3: Bug based products

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If you saw a bug in your garden, chances are you would not be tempted to eat it; but you do eat bug based products in your food. Shellac is a substance that helps to make some of the sweets you eat smooth and helps to stop them melting as you hold them. It is obtained from secretion from the Laccifer lacca, which is a bug found in India and Thailand. Also bug based is carmine which is obtained from crushed cochineal insect shells which are then boiled in a mixture of sodium carbonate and ammonia. Carmine is used to produce the red colour in products such as fruit drinks and ice-cream.

4: Coal tar in colourings

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Hyperactivity in children is often discussed and some people believe that coal tar based food colourings are at least partly to blame. Many yellow, orange and green colours in food come from tartrazine which is obtained from coal tar.

5: Lung damaging chemicals in popcorn

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Popcorn is completely innocent right? After all it helps to make all those movie nights really great. The problem is that some butter flavoured microwave popcorn contains the chemical diacetyl which can potentially damage lungs if it is inhaled.


6: Arsenic in your food and drink

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If you ever watch those true crime programmes on the TV you will know that arsenic has been used as a means of poisoning. You will probably be surprised to learn that you could be eating and drinking traces of arsenic every day. These traces can be found in items such as diatomaceous earth which is used in the filtering process of many drinks.

7: The truth about jelly

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Jelly may be delicious but would you still find it as delicious if you thought too deeply about the gelatine it contains. This gelatine is made from collagen which is obtained from the bones, skin and connective tissue of animals.

8: Sand in your food

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This may not sound quite as bad as some of the items we have included in this list; after all many of us get sand in our food when we are picnicking at the beach. That’s not the only time you may find a sand connection to what you eat though. Silicon dioxide is a chemical that can be found in sand and that is often used as an anti-caking agent in powdered food to keep it fresh.

9: Eating wood pulp

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Cellulose is a product that helps maintain the structure in fat products and stops food from clumping together. You may not know that it is wood pulp which is specifically processed to be used in the supply of food.

10: A taste of antifreeze

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You may have used antifreeze in your car but did you know that you have quite probably also put it into your stomach? The organic compound Propylene glycol is found in anti-freeze and is also used in food as a thickener and a stabiliser for icing.

Next time you are shopping for food think about our list and be aware of all of the products that you may be eating as part of your meals.

This article was created by team at VoucherBin.co.uk.

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