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Chemicals in Food - The Anal Secretions of a Beaver ??

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I recently read a news article about strange and unpleasant additives in food , and one of them was the ANAL SECRETIONS OF A BEAVER ! Now , this begs the question : who tasted a beaver butt to discover that it has a flavor that is similar to raspberries , and therefore would be good in yogurt? How do they figure this out ? Who does this, what is his job title ? Just some of my many practical questions. If this isn't the appropriate forum, please let me know where I can post this . Thanks.

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And you believed that rubbish? Sure, bacteria from a beaver's butt might make it into your yogurt, but the concentration would be laughably low. You'd be better off worrying about the amount of Toxoplasma gondii in your food.

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And you believed that rubbish? Sure, bacteria from a beaver's butt might make it into your yogurt, but the concentration would be laughably low. You'd be better off worrying about the amount of Toxoplasma gondii in your food.

No, (s)he's right. http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/castoreum.asp and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoreum However, it is not used all that often compared to alternatives.

 

At the end of the day, the castoreum is so highly processed and purified that it hardly matters at all whether it comes from a beaver's behind, a plant or whatever else. Unless you happen to be a beaver, of course, in which case it would probably matter very much.

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Think "Beaver scent marker" and you'll feel better.

 

The conversion process arose way back in the day though. Culinary, perfumery or medicinal experimentation; no way to tell which area figured it out first.

 

Carmine is another fun one.

Edited by Endy0816

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For centuries, humans have used beavers, that is, rodents of the Castor genus, as a source of food. This includes the animal's tail, and as this castoreum-producing gland resides "near the base of the tail", I suppose castoreum ended up in some beaver-based food through lack of attention and ... Hey who put raspberries in the beaver tail stew?

 

(What I want to know is who thought of grinding rocks into a powder and sprinkling it on a baby's butt to see what happens? Or corn starch?)

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Lol, thanks guys for the input. I was hoping for an answer more like " oh, yeah, there's a facility out in Nevada that catalogs all known chemicals". I should have put that the chemical in question is castoreum .

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There are a number of places that do that (Chemical Abstract Services database, for example), but I don't see what that has to do with your OP? Castoreum itself is not one single compound; it consists of something like 24 different ones.

 

As for how castoreum became to be used in food and the like; the organs that produce it were probably discovered while processing beavers that had been caught by trappers. It's something that has apparently been used for a long time (since the Romans, if wiki is to be believed) and I personally don't think it's all that odd.

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In a manner that's slightly insane, Castoreum extract has a cas number

8023-83-4

Not all materials with cas numbers are pure chemicals

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Those last two posts should help me get a better picture of things . Thanks . I will look up that Chemical Abstract Services database and also read up on what a "cas number" is - both of those things are very interesting and helpful to answer my questions.

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