Starbucks admits Strawberry Frappuccino contains crushed bugs

One tall Strawberry Frappuccino – extra insects please! Starbucks reveals popular drink contains crushed BUGS

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UPDATED:

07:23 GMT, 27 March 2012

Have you ever wondered how Starbucks makes their Strawberry Frappuccinos look so vibrantly pink

The pink hue is thanks to crushed up
insects, according to new information provided by the coffee chain giant.

In a statement released by Starbucks, the company has revealed
that they use cochineal extract, which is the ground-up bodies of insects, as a
dye for the popular rose-coloured beverage.

Unique blend: Starbucks' Strawberry Frappuccino uses cochineal extract, which is crushed insects. It's used commonly in food and drinks

Unique blend: Starbucks' Strawberry Frappuccino uses cochineal extract, which is crushed insects. It's used commonly in food and drinks

Bugs from mainly Mexico and South America are dried out
before they are ground and used in the milky-based Frappuccino drink.

As stomach-turning as it may sound, the ingredient is in
fact harmless. Commonly used to help liven up the dull hues of jams,
meats, cheese, baked goods, alcoholic drinks and more, cochineal extract has been
used as a colouring agent in food and drinks for centuries.

It has been deemed safe by the United States’ Food and Drug
Administration.

Starbucks said it had decided to use cochineal extract to
help limit the use of artificial ingredients in its products.

‘At Starbucks, we strive to carry products that meet a
variety of dietary lifestyles and needs,’ the statement read. ‘While the
strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial
dyes.’

Frightening ingredient: Cochineal insects are usually sourced from Mexico and South America before being dried out and crushed for use

Frightening matter: Cochineal insects are usually sourced from Mexico and South America before being dried out and crushed for use

All natural: Cochineal insects are used in many jams, alcoholic beverages and foods to get that rich pink colour often seen in strawberry products

All natural: Cochineal insects are used in many jams, alcoholic beverages and foods to get that rich pink colour often seen in strawberry products

But the all-natural matter is not entirely free of health
risks.

The World Health Organisation has found that cochineal
extract may cause asthma in some people. Others may see an allergic reaction.

Vegan fans may not be happy with its inclusion either. ThisDishIsVegetarian.com,
an animal rights and eco-friendly news site, labels the extract non-vegan.