It seems pretty hard to surprise us with food ingredients because everybody knows that cheese is made from milk and sausages are made from meat. However, sometimes the food industry uses ingredients we’d never even thought about.
GIGGAG decided to tell you about 11 unusual and even exotic ingredients that are used in our everyday foods. We were especially surprised by number 1!
The seeds of this plant are used to make yellow or orange food coloring, and it smells a lot like nutmeg. It is very often used in making cheese, margarine, and other dairy products. Interestingly, annatto coloring was first used in the 16th century to make Gloucester cheese look yellow.
This substance is added when making donuts, cupcakes, and croissants to make working with the dough easier. In order to produce cysteine, an organic component is needed, so duck feathers or human hair are used. Despite such an unpleasant production method, L-cysteine has a good influence on skin and hair health and protects from radiation and aging.
The animal protein collagen that is extracted from veins, bones, skin, and other body parts is used to produce gelatin. It is not only an ingredient in traditional jelly and marmalade but also in ice cream (especially fruit ice cream and ice cream mousse). Another unexpected "meat" component in some types of ice cream is decanoic acid, which is extracted from animal fat.
Isinglass, or fish collagen, is used all over the world in beer production to make the drink lighter. This substance is made from the swim bladders of huge types of fish. Despite a very low amount of isinglass in the final product, vegetarians are against its usage.
Early chewing gums were made with Sapodilla tree juice. Nowadays, the basis of almost all modern chewing gums is synthetic polymers. Most often it’s latex, which is also used in the production of rubber products. The negative influence of polymers on the human body hasn’t been proven, but keep in mind that manufacturers don’t recommend chewing a piece of gum for longer than 10 minutes.
The ancient Greeks used rosemary as seasoning, but nowadays this plant has more roles in the food industry. Antioxidants are made of rosemary to protect food rich in fat from rancidification, for example, chips. A food supplement made from rosemary is often added to chocolate spreads.
Сochineal is a red food coloring made from female cochineal aphids. This food coloring is very useful for making marmalade, ice cream, and frosting. Besides, if you are choosing a red coloring, then cochineal is probably your best choice because it does no harm to your health (except in very rare cases of allergic reactions). Erythrosine (another red coloring), however, causes thyroid hyperactivity.
Coal tar is used to make a food coloring with a very romantic name: "Allura Red." In the food industry, this substance is used for coloring fish, sweet foods, and slightly alcoholic drinks. There were theories that the substance was toxic, but research didn’t prove that. Despite the research results, this coloring is banned in some European countries.
Shellac is a natural resin, secreted by female "lac bugs." They cover tree bark with this substance. After processing, this substance is used to make jelly beans, chocolate, and other desserts, covering them with a frosty shiny look.
These precious metals are used to make food supplements for coloring desserts and confectionary and improving their looks. Because they cost so much, gold and silver are only used in premium foods.
No, they don’t. This picture has been on the internet for quite some time already, and actually, the slime in the picture is not brown but pink. Most importantly, it has nothing to do with M&M’S!
What looks a little bit like ice cream is processed meat! It was used to make beef for McDonald’s burgers before the famous chef Jamie Oliver made this fact public. The restaurant was persuaded to change the recipe, so now you can enjoy burgers without this not-brown-but-pink slime!