Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tasty Secret Ingredient? Human Hair

From The Internet Journal of Toxicology via ISPUB:

The Cheap Soy Sauce That Aroused the Public

In late 2003, there was an alternatively produced soy sauce named “Hongshuai Soy Sauce “ in China ( 14 ). The soy sauce was marketed as “blended using latest bioengineering technology” by a food seasoning manufacturer, suggesting that the soy sauce was not generated in a traditional way using soy and wheat ( 1 , 3 ).

The Hongshuai Soy Sauce was sold at a relatively low price in Mainland China and became very popular among the public. The people found its taste to be similar to other brands. Because of its low price, many catering services in schools and colleges decided to use this new product ( 1 ).

The Stunning Alternative to Soy – the Human Hair

In mid-January 2004, a team of journalists of the “Weekly Quality Report” program from the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) investigated the production of the Hongshuai Soy Sauce. The Chinese journalists went to the food seasoning manufacturer in Hubei province. They pretended to be buyers and enquired about the soy sauce ingredients. They were told by a manager that the soy sauce was made from the amino acid syrup, and mixed with water, sodium hydroxide, red sugar; hydrochloric acid and other chemical additives ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) (see lower part of chart 1). They also learnt that the soy sauce manufacturer purchased at least a thousand tons of amino acid syrup (or powder – the dry form) per month from another manufacturer in producing few thousands tons of soy sauce. As a result of the preliminary investigation, the journalists decided to explore the source of amino acid syrup ( 1 ).

The journalists then found the amino acid syrup manufacturer (a bioengineering company) in Hubei province. When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair ( 1 , 2 , 3 ). Because the human hair was gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe, etc (figure 1). After filtered by the workers, the hair would then cut small for being processed into amino acid syrup (chart 1) ( 1 ).

Read the rest here.

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