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13 Most Disgusting Things Hidden In Your Food

5. Guinness – Fish Bladders


Some people love the dark, rich taste of Guinness. Famous for its foamy head and thick roasted barley flavor, one certainly wouldn’t expect to find on the ingredient list… fish bladders?

Yes. Fish bladders. Also known as isinglass.

With a well-documented history that stretches back to 1759, the Guiness beers have a very distinguished lineage to live up to. Perhaps the recipe is just that traditional, unchanged since its very beginning? And still includes… (blech) fish bladders?

Until the development of inexpensive gelatin production, the swim bladders (used to help control boyancy) of several kinds of fish were used for the same purpose; a thickening or gelling agent. Their use in Guinness isn’t nearly as gross as it might sound. The isinglass is used to latch on to extra yeast in the barrels and only makes it into the final product in extreme trace amounts and only then as an accident.

However, given that this is clearly an animal byproduct, this can (and has) certainly raised the ire of some vegetarians and vegans.

6. L-Cysteine (Human Hair) in Bread Products


There might be hair in your bagel, but it’s not from your baker. L-Cysteine is an amino acid that is added to a range of bread products as a dough conditioner. It makes strengthens dough and helps it rise quicker. Most L-Cysteine is derived by boiling human hair, duck feathers, or hog hair in water to extract the amino acid. The majority of the human hair is supplied from Chinese barber shops and salons.

There is a synthetic version of L-Cystein that is considered both Kosher & Halal, but it is more expensive. One more reason to get your bagels from your neighborhood Kosher bakery!

7. Jelly Beans — Shellac


Do you like how jelly beans are shiny? How about sprinkles? Shiny medical pills? Or shiny wood finish? Shellac can be found on/in all of these.

Shellac is an excretion from the female lac bug found in the trees of Thailand and India. The resin is collected off of tree branches and is heated over fire in a canvas tube, along with any bugs or bark that got collected. The heated resin then seeps out through the canvas, leaving the bug and tree parts behind. The resin is then dried in flat sheets and sold in flakes. The flakes are dissolved in alcohol and a glaze is produced. The glaze goes by a variety of names, such as confectioner’s glaze, pharmaceutical glaze, or wood finish.

8. Polydimethylsiloxane — Silicone Filler for Breast Implants


Polydimethylsiloxane is a mouthful. It’s sometimes even a breast-ful. McDonald’s may have gotten rid of the pink chicken paste from their nuggets, but they’ve still got PDMS in them. It’s used as an anti-foaming agent for a lot of their fried chicken and potato products such as the McNuggets and their famous fries. It’s also used as an ingredient in some breast implants as a filler fluid, and comprises a vital part of Silly Putty, which gets its unique flow properties from PMDS.

9. Propylene Glycol — Nontoxic Antifreeze — Cake


Emphasis on nontoxic. Propylene glycol is a safer alternative to ethylene glycol (traditional antifreeze) and is much better for you to use for the sake of your pets and the local wildlife. It’s also used in some food products such as cake, icing, and ice cream. It lowers the freezing point of water, so ice cream can stay creamier and frosting won’t clump up as badly.