You might expect to find beetles and animal bones in a haunted house this Halloween. You probably don't expect to find them in your Halloween candy.
But with a little detective work on the labels of some of your favorite treats, you might find those two "ingredients" and more less-than-pleasant additives and preservatives.
In the wake of this year's pink slime outrage, consumers began to push back, demanding more transparency as to what is in their food and why.
Not that it's stopping anyone from buying Halloween candy. In fact, the National Confectioner's Association estimates that Americans will spend $2.4 billion on Halloween candy this year, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Many of the classics are loaded with sugar, not to mention coloring and other food additives. A number of them have more than 15 ingredients. But even seemingly-harmless candies with comparatively short ingredients lists or sugar content can contain some gross-sounding ingredients, like, yes, beetles and bones.
Of course, the FDA has deemed all of these ingredients safe to eat, in appropriate amounts. But that doesn't make it any less stomach-turning to think about where some of them actually come from.
Click through the slideshow below to see some of the creepiest candy ingredients. Then tell us in the comments which surprised you the most.
What it is: An oily secretion from sheep's wool, basically "sheep sweat," a Forbes.com contributor wrote. Where you might find it: Lanolin is used in some skin care products, but it's also masquerading as "gum base" in food products, according to Prevention.
What it is: A red food dye made from crushed, dried and boiled beetles Where you might find it: The cochineal beetle, when prepared in the above fashion, creates a red dye used in juice, ice cream and some red candies, according to the Discovery Channel. While other food colors don't necessarily have to be called out by name on ingredients lists, carmine does, per an FDA ruling after a number of people experienced severe allergic reactions to additives made from these bugs, according to the New York Times.
What it is: A petroleum-derived form of butane used as a food preservative Where you might find it: Lighter fluid. And Butterfingers. We spotted TBHQ on the candy bar's scary-long label. There's been considerable controversy over the preservative, as five grams of the stuff would be lethal, according to Mother Nature Network. As such, the FDA ruled it could not be used in greater quantities than 0.02 percent of the total oil or fat content of the food.
What it is: A thickening agent made from the protein collagen, which is extracted from animal skin and/or bones, according to the Discovery Channel Where you might find it: In any number of gummy candies, a particularly disturbing discovery for vegetarians.
What it is: An extract from beaver perineal glands, and possibly beaver urine, according to Forbes.com Where you might find it: Hiding on ingredients lists as "natural flavoring," since anything derived from plants or animals can be deemed "natural," HuffPost reported. It's most often found in berry and vanilla flavoring.
What it is: A sticky substance made from secretions of a bug native to Thailand. Where you might find it: Shellac is used to make that shiny coating on candies like jelly beans. It's often listed on ingredients labels as "confectioner's glaze."
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