Posted: 24 July, 2014 by Web Girl Sarah

13 Odd Ingredients That You Might Be Eating Right Now!

Bet you didn't know these were in your food!

Tags: Food, Diet, Trending, Scoopla

Did you know there's a whole lot of stuff in your food that isn't, well, what we would consider "food"? 

We're pretty lucky in Australia - our food standards keep food producers from putting too many dodgy ingredients in our food (unlike our US friends!) but there's still a few ingredients that might make you look twice. 

Sheep's Oily Secretions

Also known as lanolin - it's used in chewing gum to make it softer and easier to chew. That's not so gross...


Yup, ground-up bits of wood. Manufacturers put it in shredded cheese to keep the shreds from sticking together. In the ingredients it's listed as cellulose.


It's listed as silicon dioxide to keep you from getting grossed out but it's pretty much just cleaner sand. It's found in some fast food products and is used as an "anti-caking agent". 

Phosphoric Acid

If you're a fan of violent gangster movies, you'll know phosphoric acid as the stuff they put in vats to dissolve bodies. Manufacturers also use it in fizzy drinks. It's what gives your favorite drink its acidity and makes you drink more, more and more!

Connective Tissue

Ever met a vegetarian who won't eat jelly or sweets?  It's because it contains collagen made from the connective tissue that holds animal bones together. 

Calf Stomach

If you like cheese, you also like calf stomachs. When they are processed they're called rennet and they're used to help turn milk into cheese. f Cheese advertised as "vegetarian" doesn't include rennet. 


Coal Tar

Labelled "Allura Red AC" and used to dye certain sweets, drinks and other food products red. It's made coal tar or petroleum. 

Fish Bladder

How much do you love a tall, cold glass of beer on a hot day? Well you should know that some beer and wines contains something called "isinglass" which is really just fish bladders. They give some beer its golden yellow color. In Australia it's only used in very small doses in premium wines. 


You've most likely seen borax in some of your favorite household cleaners. It's also used in caviar as a preservative. That's one way to get clean from the inside out.

Beaver Butt Juice

Anal gland secretions and urine to be exact. It's called castoreum and you can check for it in the ingredients of certain brands of vanilla ice cream and certain raspberry-flavored foods - however it's not commonly used. 

Beetle Shells

Look in the ingredients list on some of your favorite red-colored foods. If you find carmine in the list, you've been eating ground up red beetle shells. They're used as a natural (if disgusting) red dye.

Duck Feathers and Human Hair

Feathers or human hair can  cooked down into an amino acid called L-cysteine which is used in some bread products - however most companies won't specify where the amino acid comes from - let's hope it's ducks! 


Yes, the metal that they mine from the ground. It's processed to form titanium dioxide and used to make white things whiter. You're likely to find it in non-dairy creamers, icing and white salad dressing. And sometimes, it even contains lead.

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Tags: Food, Diet, Trending, Scoopla

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