The anal glands of a beaver are a common ingredient in perfume and cologne but are also sometimes used to — believe it or not — enhance the flavor of raspberry and vanilla candies, ice cream, drinks, and desserts such as puddings. This ingredient can be in your food listed as castoreum, or without your knowledge, listed as “natural flavor.”
The term “Natural Flavor” sounds innocent enough, but is sometimes used as an umbrella term for some pretty nasty stuff the food companies don’t want you to know about.
The exact definition of natural flavors from the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
My suggestion: Don’t use cosmetics that are made using animal products, read the ingredients on food packages, call customer support when you see those scary words, ‘natural flavors’, and guess what? You’ll never have to eat anyone’s anal fluid again.