With a lot of chemicals we are exposed to nowadays, of course more and more people are looking for a healthier and a more natural option. Most of people prefer to buy groceries that are labeled as ‘organic’, ‘natural’, ‘chemical free’, and so on. One of my all time favorite flavor is rum. I never thought there would be any animal involved in the process of making rum flavor but I’ve found out the shocking truth. When you read natural rum flavoring, what do you have in your mind? Has a civet or its *ss ever crossed your mind?
If you work in food or cosmetic industry you may be familiar with Civet absolute. It is used as flavoring in food industry and one of perfume ingredients in cosmetic industry. When diluted, it has sweet smell and is frequently used as butter, caramel, and rum flavor.
As the name suggests, civet absolute is obtained from civets. The substance is secreted from the receptacles between the anus and genitalia of both the male and female civets. Naturally civets use the scent to mark their territory, same function as beaver’s sac. The oily secretion is then scraped from civet anus (yes, anus!) at least twice a week through a painful process.
So next time if you want to buy any butter or rum flavored product with ‘natural flavoring’ in it, please remember the civet’s face. It’s better to make your own food and flavored with real rum than buying commercial ‘natural’ food.