10 disgusting things you never realised you were eating

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Unless you keep a firm eye on what you are eating everyday, then you are probably unaware of everything that you are consuming.

Natural things like fruit and veg are unlikely to have any nasty surprises in them but more processed food like supermarket sandwiches, cakes and ready meals are lurking with all kinds of things.

You're probably too deterred by this news as most foods are lurking with chemicals but there are other, more unsavoury things in many foods that you are completely unaware of.

1. Beaver anal gland secretions

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We will start off with probably the grossest.

A tasty additive known as castoreum is often found in chewing gum, sweets, alcohol, ice cream, meat products, cakes and raspberry flavouring.

Bizarrely this tasty bit of sweetness is found in beaver anal glands, which the female of the species use to mark their territory and attract a mate.

It is usually listed as "natural flavouring" amongst ingredients and no, we don't know who they first person was to discover it was....

2. Hair

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We've all heard the stories of people finding hair in their soup at a restaurant but this is something else.

L-Cysteine is an amino acid that is found in your hair as well of that of pigs and in duck feathers too.

The last thing you would probably want to do is eat any of those things but L-Cystelne is used as a flavour enhancer in bagels, cakes and even pizza.

It is very common so it's almost impossible to avoid but it will make you think next time you are enjoying a donut.

3. Wood

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Although we pretty much see wood every day, it's hardly something that you would want to chew upon.

Just imagine all the splinters!

Dietary fibre, cellulose is used by food producers to reduce the fat in things like bread and wraps.

Can you guess where it is extracted from? You guessed it, wood or wood pulp to be more precise.

4. Antifreeze

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Antifreeze is great at making sure you're car doesn't become a block of ice overnight but you almost definitely wouldn't want to eat.

Bad luck, especially if you like cakes as it is sometimes used to stop fat clumping together.

The specific ingredient is propylene glycol is also used as a flavour enhancer in frozen desserts and baked goods.

If you happen to eat anything containing it, whatever you do, don't let your pets lick the plate as it is highly toxic to some animals.

5. Coal tar or oil

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Coal tar isn't widely used in the food industry as a food colouring anymore. However they still use oil as an alternative.

It is found in almost any food that is dyed artificially and according to Huffington Post is obtained from raw materials found in petroleum.

Other petrol based ingredients include TBHQ which is listed as E319 and is also used to make biodiesel and varnish.

So, if you are eating crackers, noodles, fast food or frozen fish, then there is a good chance you are consuming petrol.

6. Beetles

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Not those guys - but maybe some of the beetles that you are likely to find in your garden.

The food colouring cochineal is made by boiling or drying cochineal beetles, who are then crushed in order to release the red colour.

It goes under several names such as E120, carmine and natural red 4.

You've probably enjoyed it numerous times, especially if you like battenberg cake.

7. Wax

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We are very sorry to report that Haribo Starmix are basically just wax with a bit of sugar and flavouring.

Not ear wax or candle wax but the kind of wax that you would use to shine your car.

Carnauba wax is listed as an ingredient in the popular sweet but can also be found on glazed doughnuts and shoe polish.

The wax is actually found in palm trees in Brazil.

8. Flame retardant

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We'll be honest and say that we are pretty wimpy when it comes to spicy meals so we would appreciate some more flame retardant food.

However this flame retardant won't do that job.

BVO or Brominated Vegetable Oil can be found in citrus soft drinks like Mountain Dew.

Manufacturers use it to stop flavour from separating and floating to the surface. However, it can be very dangerous and if drunk in excess can cause seizures.

It is so lethal that in 2014 Coca-Cola and Pepsi vowed to remove it from their beverages following a successful petition.

9. Borax

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Borax is a particular brand of cleaning powder that you would use to clean clothes, dishes, kitchen or bathroom.

You are unlikely to have ever eaten, unless you are a regularly tucking into spoonfuls of caviar.

That's right, borax is used in the production that very expensive and kind of gross food.

It is used to preserve the cuisine but is scientifically known as E285.

Although it has been banned in the United States you can still purchase the ingredient in the UK.

10. Jet fuel

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Some energy drink companies might claim that their products will "give you wings" but this probably isn't what you had in mind.

BHT is a jet fuel additive that is classed as an antioxidant and is used in order to keep food preserved for longer.

This is found in cereal but isn't exactly great for you as you might have already noticed is used in jet fuel and other petroleum products.


HT Mirror

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