Daily Archives: November 26th, 2012

Hyppo and Critter: Castoreum

This is part two in a series of Hyppo and Critter comics entitled The Pumpkin Pie series. For part one, click here.


befoodsmart.com says: Castoreum is a specific type of natural flavoring. This extract is made from secretions and glands near the anus of both male and female beavers. It has a very strong odor and bitter taste. Found in a variety of foods including: alcoholic beverages, baked goods, frozen dairy, chewing gum, candy, beverages, meat products, pudding, gelatin, ice cream, vanilla flavoring, raspberry flavored food.

Wikipedia says:

Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) and the European Beaver (Castor fiber). Within the zoological realm, castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac in combination with the beaver’s urine, used during scent marking of territory. Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail. The castor sacs are not true glands (endocrine or exocrine) on a cellular level, hence references to these structures as preputial glands or castor glands are misnomers.

Today, it is used as a tincture in some perfumes and as a food additive.

Food use

In the United States, castoreum as a food additive is considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be generally recognized as safe, often referenced simply as a “natural flavoring” in products’ lists of ingredients. While it can be used in both foods and beverages as a vanilla, raspberry and strawberry flavoring, the annual industry consumption is around 300 pounds.


This year I’m thankful that some brave soul was adventurous enough to make the flavorful discovery of beaver anal glands. Not everyone would have thought, “Let’s try that in my mouth!”

You can all be thankful that I waited until after Thanksgiving to share my lastest discovery in the world of all things poop. You’re welcome!