By Mike Adams, Natural News

Confectioner’s glaze, also called pharmaceutical glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze, and natural glaze, is a common ingredient in candies and pills. By any name, it’s the same ingredient as shellac, the chemical sold in hardware stores that’s used for sealing and varnishing wood floors. Check the ingredients of any over-the-counter drugs you may own, too: It’s a common ingredient in children’s medicines and even some children’s frozen foods.

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Shellac is actually a chemical secreted by female lac bugs (Laccifer lacca), a type of “scale insect.” They create shellac in order to form sheltering tunnels as they travel along the outside of trees. It is extracted for industrial use by scraping bark, bugs, and tunnels off of trees in Asian forests and into canvas tubes. The tubes are then heated over a flame until the shellac melts and seeps out of the canvas, after which it is dried into flakes for sale. Before use in food or as varnish, the shellac must be re-dissolved in denatured alcohol.

The FDA classifies shellac as GRAS, or Generally Recognize As Safe. Instead, they should probably classify it as “beetle juice” Shellac is also used in shampoo, lipstick, hairspray, chewing gum, and coffee beans. Before vinyl records came along in the 1940s, records were pressed out of shellac. Common candies containing shellac include Hershey’s Milk Duds and Skittles (sold in the U.K. only, as U.S. Skittles do not contain shellac).

Shellac is also used to coat aspirin pills to help prevent stomach irritation.

Source: “25 Amazing Facts About Food,” authored by Mike Adams and David Guiterrez.

This article was written by Mike Adams and published in Natural News on August 3, 2011. Photo by Martin Slotta/Flickr.

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