L-Cysteine

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L-Cysteine – 21 January 2008

“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About L-Cysteine But Were Afraid to Ask” by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS is an excellent article in The Vegetarian Resource Group’s latest issue of “The Vegetarian Journal.”

According to this article, L-cysteine – a common dough conditioner, flavor enhancer in human and pet foods, and precursor in some dietary supplements – may be derived from human hair and duck feathers or pigs’ bristles and hooves. Today, most L-cysteine is derived from Chinese duck feathers; whereas a few years ago “the most common source was human hair found on the floors of Chinese barbershops.” Although at least two synthetic forms are manufactured today, they are not commonly used because they are expensive.

I found it disconcerting that L-cysteine must appear on a food package label if it has a “functional effect on foods” but not if it is “used to make flavors that are in foods.” Furthermore, according to the FDA the source of L-cysteine is not required on labels.

For more information about ingredients in foods, visit The Vegetarian Resource Group’s website:
http://www.vrg.org/  
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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