Rat hair in chocolate, feathers in bread and sand in Wendy's chili: As Starbucks puts bugs in Frappuccinos, the unlikely ingredients in your other favourite foods



22:34 GMT, 30 March 2012

With mandatory nutritional value lists in fast food chains and impassioned chefs like Jamie Oliver blowing the whistle on pink slime, it may seem like these days we know exactly what is in the food we eat.

But according to an investigation by Business Insider, we don't know the half of it and it isn't only the fast food chains who are guilty.

Following Starbucks' recent and unashamed
confession that it uses crushed cochineal beetles as red dye in its
strawberry Frappuccino, a new list of unexpected elements includes rat hair in chocolate, sand in Wendy's chili and fish bladders in beer.

A bar of chocolate can contain rat hair

A bar of chocolate can contain rat hair

Rodent-flavoured treats: The FDA approve of one rat hair per 100 grams in every six 100-gram samples and 60 fragments on insect in the same quantity

But these 11 'disgusting ingredients', that are FDA approved, may turn even the sturdiest of stomachs.

no particular order of taste, perhaps the most unfortunate food item to
make the list is one enjoyed by people all across the world as a sweet
treat: chocolate.

Insider reports that 'accidental guest appearances' of rat hair are FDA
approved under the right conditions with a legal allowance of one hair
per 100 grams in every six 100-gram samples.

that's not all. 60 insect fragments in the same quantity are also
deemed acceptable, so the next time you find yourself chewing on a fly wing, think again before complaining.

Beaver's anal secretion and urine is used in ice cream according to Jamie Oliver

Beaver's anal secretion and urine is used in ice cream according to Jamie Oliver

Bottoms up! According to Jamie Oliver, ice cream contains castoreum which is a mixture of the anal secretion and urine of a beaver

The amber nectar gets its golden glow from fish bladder in Britain

In Britain, fish bladder is added to beer to give it its golden hue

Last round: British beer is tinged with fish bladder to give it that irresistible golden glow

Animal organs and internal fluids
feature frequently on the list that also includes castoreum, the mixture
of a beaver's anal secretion and urine, as a flavour enhancer in ice

Again, under FDA guidelines the
'natural flavouring' is apparently nothing unusual, but when British
culinary whizkid Jamie Oliver appeared on Letterman and told ice cream
lovers to 'think of anal gland', it became harder to ignore.

For Brits that gorge on the amber nectar, this next revelation may come
as a surprise. According to a BBC report cited on Business Insider,
contrary to any mythological fantasy, tiny fish bladders are responsible
for giving the beverage its golden glow.

Crushed beetles in Starbucks drinks
Rat hair and insect fragments in chocolateBeaver's anal secretion and urine in ice creamFish bladder in beerSheep's wool residue in chewing gumDuck feathers in baked goodsToilet bleach in potato chipsSawdust in grated cheeseMaggots in mushroomsSand in Wendy's Chili
Pig skin in jello

when it comes to keeping breath fresh and teeth clean, gum lovers
should know they are chewing with lanolin, a residue found in sheep's

Any doubts about the healthiness of fast food are corroborated by the discovery that after exhaustive probing by the Vegetarian Resource Group, McDonald's admitted its Baked Hot Apple Pie and Warm Cinnamon Roll contained L-Cysteine.

L-Cysteine is an amino acid made from human hair and duck feathers that is often used to soften bread. McDonald's said it did it not use 'human-derived' products.

Rival chain Wendy's uses an anti-caking agent called silicon dioxide which according to Business Insider is commonly known as sand or glass powder, while potato chip makers use a toilet bowl cleaning agent called sodium bisulfite to preserve the sell-by-date of their products.

In another clever and yet nauseating trick, shredded cheese manufacturers, including Kraft, keep pieces from clumping together by mixing in cellulose, known in layman's terms as sawdust.

Meanwhile, the USDA finds meat containing more than 3.5 pr cent cellulose not to be 'nutritionally sound'.

With this information brought to light, the commonly recognised animal connective tissue of gelatin may seem the least hair-raising of all.

It certainly won't be the fact that the FDA approve 19 maggots and 74 mites per 3.5 ounce can of mushrooms.