Healthy food is crucial to living a healthy life. Different ingredients are used in food items, to keep them unsullied and stable. With advances in technology, more food ingredients are in use now. Therefore, food has been more succulent, tasty, nutritious, safe, and inexpensive. Some of these ingredients are found to be most disgusting and sickening.

Here is a detail of the ten most sickening food ingredients you are eating:

1. Gelatin: It is a thickening agent. Jelly looks so jiggly because of this ingredient. It is used in jelly, desserts, jam, yogurt, candies, and custard. It is derived from collagen, a protein often collected from animal skins, especially pig skin. Nothing can be more nauseating than gelatin.


Image credit: Amanda Slater Flickr

2. Shellac: Candies are sweet as well as glistening in looks. But do you know how candies get this shine? They are coated with shellac. Shellac is derived from secretions of the female kerria lacca, an insect that lives in Thailand. Shellac is also called a glaze to satisfy consumers. But this glaze is actually so sick and disgusting.

Shellac at branch By Jeffrey W. Lotz [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Castoreum: This food ingredient is actually beaver anal secretion. It is used as a food ingredient in Vanilla-flavored desserts and sweets. It is listed under “ingredients” as castoreum. This castoreum is actually a liquid found in castor sacs near a beaver’s anus; it is used as a substitute for vanilla flavoring. Castoreum is sometimes just cited as “natural flavoring,” in the U.S.


Original Image by Makedocreative (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Human hair: You would not believe that human hair, duck feathers, or hog hair are used as a flavor enhancer in bagels, cakes, and desserts. It is listed under “ingredients” as L-Cysteine. Human hair is usually preferred due to its efficiency in producing L-cysteine.

L-Cysteine and hair

5. Flame retardant: It is used in citrus-flavored soda, juices, and drinks. It is named as brominated vegetable oil (BVO) under the “ingredients” list. BVO is actually a toxic flame-retardant chemical. Scientists have tied its high level of consumption to skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders. Used of BVO as food additives are banned in Europe, Australia, India, and Japan. 

6. Assorted Animal Bones: Brown sugar is displeasing. Various companies blanch the bones of cows and after that blaze them into “bone scorch”, which is later used as an additive to brown cane sugar to make it white.

7. Carbon mono oxide: Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas, it can be deadly, but this same stuff that comes out of your exhaust is used to pack ground beef and fish to stop the process of oxidation.


8. Ammonia: It is a chemical used for household cleaning, but how disgusting it is that various companies have been using ammonia to kill germs in low-grade beef trimmings.

9. Paint chemical in salad dressing: Titanium dioxide is a component, mostly used in paints and sunscreens but big food companies are using this chemical as a salad dressing.

10. Coal tar: It is used in artificially-dyed food products. This food coloring ingredient is actually a byproduct of coal.

There is a list of almost three thousand ingredients in the database of FDA, which are used to make foods. One will never eat such food items if he knows what nauseating ingredient is added to them.