- uploaded: Oct 4, 2013
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A chemical compound used in vanilla flavored foods and scents comes from the butt of a beaver. Castoreum comes from a beaver's castor sacs, located between the pelvis and base of the tail. Due to its proximity to the anal glands, the slimy brown substance is often mixed with gland secretions and urine. Beavers use the brown slime, often compared to a thinner version of molasses, to mark their territory. The musky, vanilla scent is attributed to a beaver's diet of bark and leaves. Manufacture have been using castoreum as an additive in foods and perfumes for at least 80 years, according to a 2007 study in the International Journal of Toxicology. But getting a beaver to emit castoreum is not easy. Foodies are willing to "milk" the animals in order to get their hands on the gooey substance. Only 292-pounds per year is collected because the milking method is unpleasant for all parties involved. And the worst part? The FDA-approved castoreum is not required to be listed as an ingredient on food items. Manufacturers may list "natural flavoring" instead. "The Beaver Song": Mission Trip Songs xo!