Tiktok – where does vanilla flavouring come from and what has it got to do with beavers?

A MAN has gone viral on TikTok after warning users of the less-than-appetising source of vanilla flavouring.

The additive in ice cream or coffee can take the form of a sticky brown goo known as castoreum, which is milked from the bum of a beaver.

tiktok/SloowmoeeA man has gone viral on TikTok after warning users of the less-than-appetising source of vanilla flavouring[/caption]

Viral TikTok trend

TikTok user @Sloowmoee sent the internet wild after he started a viral trend last year.

In a 15-second video posted to his 6.1million followers, the TikTok creator asked people to film their reactions before and after googling “where does vanilla flavouring come from?”

He then takes a sip of vanilla latte before googling the question, looking horrified and screeching: “No more vanilla!”

Sloowmoee’s video has racked up millions of views.

In response to his post, other TikTok users uploaded videos of their reaction to finding out the apparent origin of the flavouring.

Where does vanilla flavouring comes from?

Getty – ContributorBeaver bums produce castoreum, a brown goo than can be safely used as vanilla flavouring in the United States[/caption]

So, where does vanilla flavouring come from?

If you google the question, you’ll see a 2013 National Geographic article explaining the origins of castoreum, a natural vanilla flavouring.

Castoreum is brown, sticky goo secreted by beavers from glands between the pelvis and base of the tail.

It’s used by the woodland creatures to mark their territory – and smells a lot like vanilla due to their diet of bark and leaves.

Food chemists can “milk” the substance from anaesthetised beavers and use it as a flavouring or scent in luxury foods and perfumes.

It’s even regarded as “generally safe for consumption” by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Decades ago, beaver goo was used to flavour artisanal ice cream, baked good, chewing gum and candy.

However, it’s almost never used in food today except in special (and expensive) circumstances.

Have I eaten beaver goo?

Getty – ContributorIt’s highly unlikely you’ve ever eaten or drunk something containing beaver castoreum[/caption]

While castoreum can be used in food and drinks products, it’s extremely rare due to the cost and time associated with the milking of it.

It’s safe to assume that every ice cream or vanilla latte you’ve consumed contains ingredients that have been nowhere near the bum of a beaver.

That’s because the overwhelming majority of food and drinks products use artificial flavourings to get that sweet vanilla taste.

The few products that do contain castoreum are generally produced by luxury brands – nothing you can get from your local supermarket.

Eau De Musc (“Water of Musk”), for instance, was a limited-edition beaver castoreum whiskey released in 2018 by US booze-maker Tamworth Distilling.

It was housed in a small, 200ml vintage-style perfume bottle and sold for an eye-watering $65 (£50) a pop.

Chanel Antaeus is a fragrance from – you guessed it – Chanel that contains castoreum. That’ll set you back a measly $114 / £78 a bottle.

TikTok: Brief guide to the world’s most downloaded app

TikTok lets users create and share short videos with music and camera effects
The hit app is best known for short dance videos, lip-syncing clips, comedy sketches, and talent footage
It is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, founded by the entrepreneur Zhang Yiming
The $200billion conglomerate acquired the Musical.ly app in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, bringing millions of new users
By February 2019, TikTok and Douyin had been downloaded more than a billion times
It was the most-downloaded app on the App Store in 2018 and 2019
Cyber experts have expressed concern over ByteDance’s alleged links to the Chinese government
The Department of Defense has urged its employees to avoid using the app over national security concerns
TikTok says it does not and would not share user data with the Chinese government


In other news, a horrifying clip of a man committing suicide went viral on TikTok earlier this year.

TikTok was recently caught collecting private user data for over a year in a brazen breach of Google app rules.

And here’s a profile of Charlie D’Amelio, the dancing Connecticut teen who is currently the app’s mos popular user.

What do you think of the TikTok video? Let us know in the comments!

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at tech@the-sun.co.uk