What’s in a box of Pringles? Rock, sand, cement, gum…

Everything you need to build a small cottage in the woods.

Ingredients of a box of Pringles chips.

Ingredients of a box of Pringles chips.

In 2008 UK court case, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) claimed that its famous Pringles chips were not really potato chips. Of course, to avoid taxes. They buttressed this claim with the list of ingredients, which showed that it was less than 50% potato and rest of it was just flour/starch and other malcontents. Pringles was already notorious for its use of the addictive MSG (Mono-sodium glutamate) or ajinomoto.

As if that was not enough, the additives in a box of Pringles deserves special attention. The Codex Alimentarius created by the United Nations has made it easy to hide the true nature of the ingredients. Fortunately, I have with me an old edition of Maurice Hanssen’s E for Additives. I looked up the additives in the book and it seems like a box of Pringles contains certain unpalatable additives designed to freak out anyone. Although they are in small quantities, you wouldn’t encounter them if you simply bought a fresh bag of regular chips instead.

  • Anti-caking agent: INS 551 is silicon dioxide. Otherwise known as sand.
  • Flavour enhancers: INS 627 is sodium guanlyate, which is synthetically manufactured. INS 631 is sodium inosinate, which is a non-vegetarian additive extracted from meat and sardines (a fish). Both are not good for babies or young children or those suffering from gout.
  • Preservative: INS 220 is sulfur dioxide. Toxic to fungi. Made from sulfur or gypsum combustion. Destroys vitamin E and irritates alimentary canal.
  • Emulsifier: INS 414 is Gum Arabic, popularly used in painting water colors. It is the hardened sap tapped from the bark of an African tree.
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