These little critters are first dried, then boiled in water to extract the carminic acid, a deep red acid commonly used in candy and fruit punch drinks. Ewwww! If you’re wondering about whether or not your favorite “red-flavored” gummy candies contain this creepy, crawly ingredient, all you have to do is check the label. The FDA now requires that carmine be listed on all food labels.
Beaver "berries" 2
Oh, you thought the “natural flavoring” in some of your favorite berry-flavored candies came from berries? That’s cute. Actually, some of those flavors might have been “enhanced” by castoreum, a bitter, strong-smelling creamy substance extracted from a beaver’s perineal glands aka a pair of glands located near the beaver’s…anus. Not exactly the kind of berries you were thinking of, now are they?
Insect secretions 3
I hate to ruin candy corn and jellybeans for you, but the shellac used to make ‘em all shiny and hard is made, in part, with “confectioners glaze,” which is essentially secretions from a bug native to Thailand. There’s just no sugar coating that. It is what it is.
Phosphoric acid 5
A little bit of soda never hurt anyone, right? Right. But a lot of soda could rot you from the inside out. That’s because it’s made with phosphoric acid, the same stuff used to remove rust and hard water stains. That news is kind of hard to swallow, right?
Animal skin and bones 6
The gelatin used to make those yummy gummy bears were made from a protein collagen, which is extracted from animal skin and/or bones. Um, things just got a little too real for my taste.
Sheep sweat 7
Hate to burst your bubble, pero the lanolin used in some skin care products and “gum base” is actually an oily secretion from a sheep’s wool. In other words, it’s basically sheep sweat.