Home / News / You’ve been eating BEAVER for years and probably had no idea… here’s some other weird things you’ve been chowing down on without realising

You’ve been eating BEAVER for years and probably had no idea… here’s some other weird things you’ve been chowing down on without realising

SOME beaver bum in your beverage? Or how about hair in your pizza?

While this might sound stomach-churning, you will have been munching on grim-sounding ingredients like these your whole life without realising.

Some act as preservatives, improve the texture of a meal or even enhance the flavour.

But learning where these chemicals and compounds come from might leave you pushing your plate away.

 Secretions from the anal glands of beavers are used to derive a chemical found in ice cream flavouringsGetty – Contributor Secretions from the anal glands of beavers are used to derive a chemical found in ice cream flavourings

Beaver bum

Castoreum is the sugary flavouring that’s made from secretions of glands found near a beaver’s anus.

The animals use castoreum to attract a mate and mark their territory, while we use it as a vanilla, raspberry or strawberry sweetener for drinks and sweets.

But, surprisingly it can be referred to on the ingredients list as a ‘natural flavouring’.

Beaver anal gland secretions can be found in alcoholic beverages, baked goods, frozen dairy products, chewing gum and sweets.

Also, meat products, pudding, gelatine, ice cream, vanilla flavouring and raspberry-flavoured food according to befoodsmart.com.

 Ice cream and other treats use castoreum, which is found in beavers' bumsGetty – Contributor Ice cream and other treats use castoreum, which is found in beavers’ bums  An amino acid derived from hair is used in doughy foods like pizzaGetty – Contributor An amino acid derived from hair is used in doughy foods like pizza

Hair

Hair contains the L-Custeine amino acid — one of the main building blocks that can also be found in skin and nails.

But the derivative is also used in bread products to help extend the shelf life.

So next time you’re tucking into a pizza, remember that a chemical derived from hair is in it.

In the US, using human hair to extract the acid is common, but luckily that is banned in Europe.

Here, it is more likely to come from duck feathers or hog hair.

 Pizza dough uses L-Custeine amino acid to preserve its freshnessGetty – Contributor Pizza dough uses L-Custeine amino acid to preserve its freshness  Propylene glycol, which is one of the main ingredients in antifreeze, is found in frozen foodsAlamy Propylene glycol, which is one of the main ingredients in antifreeze, is found in frozen foods

Antifreeze

Propylene glycol is a key ingredient in antifreeze but shockingly it’s also used to stop fat clumping together in your ready-made cake mixes.

And you should be extra careful about making sure your dog doesn’t lick the bowl clean because propylene glycol can be toxic to animals.

Propylene glycol can be found frozen dairy desserts and baked goods as it helps thicken and enhance the flavour.

 A chemical from crushed beetles is used in some foods A chemical from crushed beetles is used in some foods

Beetles

Cochineal beetles are often harvested by hand from cactus pads, then boiled, dried and crushed to make a vibrant red food colouring.

And although some people will have heard of this method, many may not have known that it can also be listed as carmine, E120 and natural red 4.

For those of you who are fans of Mr Kipling’s Battenberg cakes, Tesco’s website informs that cochineal is one of the colourings used.

 Cellulose is one of the main building blocks of wood. It is used in some foods like tortilla wraps Cellulose is one of the main building blocks of wood. It is used in some foods like tortilla wraps

Wood

Cellulose, also known as “dietary fibre” can be found in wood pulp and cotton and is used to pad out packaged bread to help reduce fat content.

Cellulose can be found in tortilla wraps, so beware when you’re having a burrito night, make sure you check the ingredients list.

 TBHQ is a type of phenol that is found in petrol TBHQ is a type of phenol that is found in petrol

TBHQ

Tert-Butylhydroquinone is commonly found at the petrol pump but is sometimes used to preserve our favourite high fat snacks.

Worryingly, if you have a fairly high-fat diet, it’s probable you’re consuming an unsafe daily allowance. Keep a look out for E319 on the ingredients lists.

According to Tesco’s sites, Reese’s nut bars contain TBHQ E319 as an ingredient.

Tert-Butylhydroquinone can also be found in crackers, noodles, fast and frozen foods, while it’s also used in high-concentration frozen fish products.

 TBHQ E319 is found in Reese's nut bars TBHQ E319 is found in Reese’s nut bars  Carnauba wax is used in car polish as well as in some sweets like Haribo Carnauba wax is used in car polish as well as in some sweets like Haribo

Wax

Carnauba wax is made using Brazilian palm trees and helps to keep both foods and cars shiny.

Carnauba wax is listed in Haribo Starmix on both Tesco’s and Amazon’s website.

It’s also found in glazed doughnuts, gummy sweets and shoe polish.

 Brominated vegetable oil was patented as a flame retardant but was used in food Brominated vegetable oil was patented as a flame retardant but was used in food

Flame retardant

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is used in zesty carbonated drinks to prevent the flavouring from floating to the top but can be used as a flame retardant in some plastics and furniture.

If you consume too much of the chemical it cause a syndrome called Bromism, which can cause seizures.

Citrus flavoured soft drinks, but in 2014 Coca Cola and Pepsi were among many companies who said they would remove BVO from their soft drinks after a petition was formed.

 Artificial caramel colouring has been linked to intestinal problems and even cancerPaul Tonge – The Sun Artificial caramel colouring has been linked to intestinal problems and even cancer

Artificial caramel colouring

Also known as E510, artificial caramel colouring is a cocktail of chemicals designed to give a richer colour to foods.

Such is its scientifically-honed adaptability that it can be used on savoury meats or on sweet treats like muffins.

It has been linked to intestinal problems and is even thought to be carcinogenic.

Scientists create futuristic food levitation machine

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

Check Also

Eight rescued and three missing at sea after US military aircraft crashes en route to America’s North Korea strike fleet near Japan

EIGHT people have been rescued after a US military aircraft with 11 people on board crashed into the Philippine Sea en route to an aircraft carrier near Japan. Japanese and American rescuers scramb…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: