The 25 Craziest Ingredients In Your Food

Posted by on December 1, 2011

For centuries people have added ingredients to food in order to enhance taste and preserve its freshness. While in the past they would use normal things like salt and vinegar, these days you never really know what kind of crazy ingredients you’ll find in your lunchbox. With that said, the point of this list is not to scare you into giving up processed food, but rather to show you how ridiculous it is that what we use in our rocket propellant we also use in our turkey.




As official sounding as it is, this chemical is nothing more than a beaver secretion. But it’s not just any beaver secretion. It comes straight from the anal gland. Although it is commonly used to enhance the flavor of raspberry candies it’s also used in perfumes, medicine, and as an aphrodisiac.


Potassium Bromate

Ondrej Mangl

Typically used to improve flavor and strengthen dough this category 2B carcinogen is what makes your sandwich taste so good. You might have trouble finding it outside of the United States though as it has been banned in the EU, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, and even China.


Coal Tar

Coming in at number 199 on the United Nations list of most dangerous goods, coal tar was once the most common source of the food coloring agent Allura Red AC. Thankfully today most of our Allura comes from petroleum instead.



Coming to us straight from secretions of a female lac beetle, this substance is commonly used to coat things, primarily wood and skittles.


Beef Fat


Although this could conceivably be a normal albeit stomach churning ingredient, it is actually commonly used in twinkies to make them taste better. Sorry vegans.