Meet The 15 Food Companies That Serve You ‘WOOD’: Pepsi, Kellogg, Weight Watchers, General Mills, McDonald’s, KFC, Yum’s Brands’ (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut), Wendy’s Arby’s, Nestle etc.

15 Food Companies That Serve You ‘Wood’ (The Street):

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Are you getting what you pay for on your plate?

The recent class-action lawsuit brought against Taco Bell raised questions about the quality of food many Americans eat each day.

Chief among those concerns is the use of cellulose (read: wood pulp), an extender whose use in a roster of food products, from crackers and ice creams to puddings and baked goods, is now being exposed. What you’re actually paying for — and consuming — may be surprising.

Cellulose is virgin wood pulp that has been processed and manufactured to different lengths for functionality, though use of it and its variant forms (cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.) is deemed safe for human consumption, according to the FDA, which regulates most food industry products. The government agency sets no limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products meant for human consumption. The USDA, which regulates meats, has set a limit of 3.5% on the use of cellulose, since fiber in meat products cannot be recognized nutritionally.

“As commodity prices continue to rally and the cost of imported materials impacts earnings, we expect to see increasing use of surrogate products within food items. Cellulose is certainly in higher demand and we expect this to continue,” Michael A. Yoshikami, chief investment strategist at YCMNet Advisors, told TheStreet.

Manufacturers use cellulose in food as an extender, providing structure and reducing breakage, said Dan Inman, director of research and development at J. Rettenmaier USA, a company that supplies “organic” cellulose fibers for use in a variety of processed foods and meats meant for human and pet consumption, as well as for plastics, cleaning detergents, welding electrodes, pet litter, automotive brake pads, glue and reinforcing compounds, construction materials, roof coating, asphalt and even emulsion paints, among many other products.

Cellulose adds fiber to the food, which is good for people who do not get the recommended daily intake of fiber in their diets, Inman said. It also extends the shelf life of processed foods. Plus, cellulose’s water-absorbing properties can mimic fat, he said, allowing consumers to reduce their fat intake.

Perhaps most important to food processors is that cellulose is cheaper, he added, because “the fiber and water combination is less expensive than most other ingredients in the [food] product.”

Indeed, food producers save as much as 30% in ingredient costs by opting for cellulose as a filler or binder in processed foods, according to a source close to the processed food industry who spoke with TheStreet on the condition of anonymity.

Inman said that in his 30 years in the food science business, he’s seen “an amazing leap in terms of the applications of cellulose fiber and what you can do with it.” He said powdered cellulose has a bad reputation but that more of his customers are converting from things like oat or sugar cane fibers to cellulose because it is “snow white in color, bland and easy to work with.”

Most surprising, said Inman, is that he’s been able to remove as much as 50% of the fat from some cookies, biscuits, cakes and brownies by replacing it with powdered cellulose — but still end up with a very similar product in terms of taste and appearance.

“We’re only limited by our own imagination,” Inman told TheStreet. “I would never have dreamed I could successfully put 18% fiber in a loaf of bread two years ago.”

He said cellulose is common in processed foods, often labeled as reduced-fat or high-fiber — products like breads, pancakes, crackers, pizza crusts, muffins, scrambled eggs, mashed potato mixes, and even cheesecake. Inman himself keeps a box of Wheat Thins Fiber Selects crackers, manufactured by Kraft Foods(KFT)’ Nabisco brand, at his desk, and snacks on them daily, clearly unmoved by the use of wood pulp in its ingredients.

“Most consumers would be shocked to find these types of filler products are used as substitutes for items that they believe are more pure,” Yoshikami said. “We would expect increased disclosure to follow increased use of cellulose and other filler products as the practice increases in frequency.”

To that end, TheStreet rounded up a list of popular foods that use cellulose. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and we suggest consumers read food labels carefully. Still, click through the slideshow to find out if your favorite foods contain the “all-natural” wood pulp…

(Please note the following lists are not exhaustive. Some companies list all ingredients on their Web sites. Other items were found in a local grocery store near TheStreet‘s headquarters on Wall Street in New York City.)

Pepsi uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Aunt Jemima Frozen Blueberry Pancakes
  • Aunt Jemima Original Syrup
  • Aunt Jemima Original Syrup
  • Kellogg uses cellulose in the following products:

  • MorningStar Farms Chik’n Nuggets
  • MorningStar Farms Chik Patties Original
  • MorningStar Farms Buffalo Wings Veggie Wings
  • Eggo Nutri-Grain Blueberry waffles
  • Eggo Strawberry Waffles
  • Eggo Blueberry Waffles
  • Cinnabon Pancakes Original
  • Cinnabon Pancakes Caramel
  • Cinnabon Snack Bars Original
  • Cinnabon Snack Bars Baked Cinnamon Apple
  • Weight Watchers International uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich
  • English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bar
  • Giant Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Bar
  • General Mills uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Fiber One Ready-To-Eat Muffins (Wild Blueberry & Oats; Mixed Fruit, Nuts & Honey; Apple Cinnamon Bun, Banana Chocolate Chip)
  • Fiber One Original cereal
  • Fiber One Chewy Bars (90 Calorie Chocolate, 90 Calorie Chocolate Peanut Butter)
  • Fiber One baking products (Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix, Banana Nut Muffin Mix, Blueberry Muffin Mix)
  • Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow Cake Mix
  • Pillsbury Mozzarella and Pepperoni Pastry Puffs
  • Pillsbury Cheese and Spinach Crescent Pastry Puffs
  • Pillsbury Artichoke and Spinach Bread Bowl Bites
  • Pillsbury Buffalo Chicken Crescent Pastry Puffs
  • Pillsbury Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Bread Bowl Bites
  • Betty Crocker whipped frostings (Strawberry Mist, Chocolate, Cream Cheese)
  • Betty Crocker Vanilla Amazing Glazes
  • Duncan Hines Cake Mixes (Devil’s Food Cake Mix, Dark Chocolate Fudge, Strawberry Supreme, Fudge Marble, Classic Yellow, French Vanilla)
  • McDonald’s uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Fish Filet Patty
  • McRib
  • Premium Caesar Salad
  • Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap
  • Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken
  • Southern Style Chicken Biscuit
  • Strawberry Sundae
  • Natural Swiss Cheese (used in McRib, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Angus Mushroom & Swiss, Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich, Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich, Angus Mushroom & Swiss Snack Wrap)
  • Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese (used in Ranch Snack Wrap (Crispy and Grilled), Honey Mustard Snack Wrap (Crispy and Grilled), Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap (Crispy and Grilled), Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken, Premium Southwest Salad with/without Crispy/Grilled Chicken, Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with/without Crispy/Grilled Chicken, McSkillet Burrito with Sausage)
  • Sara Lee uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Jimmy Dean Frozen Breakfast Bowl (Sausage & Gravy)
  • Jimmy Dean D-lights Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bowl
  • Jimmy Dean D-lights Turkey Sausage Croissant
  • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrée (Scrambled Eggs with Bacon/Sausage and Cheese Diced Apples & Seasoned Hash)
  • Yum’s Brands’ Taco Bell uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Southwest Chicken
  • Caramel Apple Empanada
  • Corn Tortilla
  • Enchilada Rice
  • Nacho Chips
  • Red Strips
  • Strawberry Topping
  • Zesty Dressing
  • Jack in the Box uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Cheese, Cheddar, Shredded (used in Grilled Chicken Salad, Chicken Club Salad with Crispy Chicken, Meaty Breakfast Burrito, Hearty Breakfast Bowl)
  • Cheese, Pepper Jack, Shredded (used in Chicken Fajita Pita, Southwest Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken, Meaty Breakfast Burrito)
  • Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • Ice Cream Shake Mix
  • Log Cabin Syrup
  • Mini Funnel Cake
  • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (also part of Sampler Trio)
  • Smoothie Base (Mango, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana)
  • Tortilla, Flour (used for Chorizo Sausage Burrito, Steak & Egg Burrito, Meaty Breakfast Burrito)
  • White Cheese Sauce (used in Breakfast Bowl (Hearty and Denver))
  • Kraft Foods uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Wheat Thins Fiber Selects
  • Frozen Bagel-Fuls
  • Macaroni & Cheese Thick ‘n Creamy
  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Three Cheese W/mini-shell Pasta
  • Yum’s Brands Pizza Hut uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Parmesan Romano Cheese
  • Taco Bean Sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar (for Taco Pizza)
  • Breadstick Seasoning (used to make Cheese Breadsticks)
  • WingStreet Bone-In (in the batter)
  • Meatballs (for pasta products, sandwiches)
  • White Pasta Sauce (used for PastaBakes Marinara, PastaBakes Meatball Marinara, PastaBakes Primavera, PastaBakes Chicken Primavera)
  • Alfredo Sauce (used for PastaBakes Marinara, PastaBakes Meatball Marinara, PastaBakes Primavera, PastaBakes Chicken Primavera)
  • Fat Free Ranch Dressing
  • Wendy’s Arby’s uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Asiago Cheese (used in Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad, Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, Caesar Side Salad)
  • Fat Free French Dressing (for Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, Baja Salad, Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad, BLT Cobb Salad)
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles (used in Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, BLT Cobb Salad)
  • Cheddar Pepper Jack Cheese Blend, Shredded
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty (Chocolate, Vanilla)
  • Frosty (Chocolate and Vanilla)
  • Frosty Shake (Frosty-cino, Chocolate Fudge, Strawberry, Vanilla Bean)
  • Milk, 1% Low Fat Chocolate Milk
  • Sonic uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Ice Cream
  • Sonic Blast
  • Banana Split
  • Ice Cream Cone
  • Dole Food uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Peaches & Crème Parfait
  • Apples & Crème Parfait
  • Yum’s Brands’ KFC uses cellulose in the following products:

  • KFC Cornbread Muffin
  • Apple Turnover
  • Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce
  • Lil’ Bucket Strawberry Short Cake Parfait
  • Lil’ Bucket Lemon Crème Parfait
  • Lil’ Bucket Chocolate Crème Parfait
  • Oreo Cookies and Crème Pie Slice
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie Slice
  • Popcorn Chicken
  • Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie Slice
  • Nestle(NSRGY) uses cellulose in the following products:

  • Hot Cocoa Mixes (Mini Marshmallows, Rich Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Caramel)
  • 8 thoughts on “Meet The 15 Food Companies That Serve You ‘WOOD’: Pepsi, Kellogg, Weight Watchers, General Mills, McDonald’s, KFC, Yum’s Brands’ (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut), Wendy’s Arby’s, Nestle etc.”

    1. I think somone forgot to list all the foods that contain METHOCELL or methylated cellose. Known as the anti reverse antifreeze found in most all processed patties. When heated methocell retain liquid and as it begins to cool it releases liquid to give the impression of a juicy burger. Go to ADM or Dow Corning website and pickup 50 pounds so you can feed your kids Mc Mommy’s special at home. Its so good for you that a person should use rodiactive beef and fish from Fukushima then mix with some Monsanto GMO soybean fillers along with a glass of recombinate bovine growth hormone from utters injected with it. If done right you can get cottage cheese from from the same utter with mastitus. Um um good.

    2. While some may consider JASON’s comment a practical JOKE, the truth is what he has stated is GOSPEL.

      And while it definitely should raise your eyebrow and get your attention smart consumers would be wise to take to heart what his statement is implying and alluding to which really isn’t a JOKE unless of course you are lacking in common sense which many are sad to say!

      Because every individual is responsible for their ultimate health and personal well including parents being responsible for their children so while and if as clearly is the case today CONSUMERS refuse to stop doing business with Food Manufacturers who insist on compromising food standards by substituting authentic real food substances with artificial substances laden with harmful fillers and dangerous chemicals to your physiology such as described in this article than Americans have only themselves to blame!

      Since CONSUMERS maintain the clear choice to purchase real food verses artificial food because no one holds a gun to your head to make you select and buy artificial packaged food items from your grocer to feed yourself and your family. And while many argue that real food is too costly, but cost is reflected in supply in demand so as more SMART CONSUMERS are purchasing real and natural food stuffs this will lower the cost which we must all help to realize this decrease through our commitment to stop buying artificial food by-products. Not to mention with our commitment to stop doing business with manufacturers who dupe us with harmful dangerous food products we also effectively widen the market for food companies to enter the marketplace who will meet our demands for quality real foods effectively forcing some of the current mega food producers to change their determined deceptive artificial food producing practices at the expense of the CONSUMERS ultimate health.

      Therefore people who lack the incentive intelligence and/or motivation to change their lifestyle and reframe from purchasing and eating artificial food will continue to be the self victimized recipients of the epidemic levels of cancers, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis just to name a few of the life threatening degenerative diseases and painful conditions millions are struggling with due to lifestyle food related choices which so many CONSUMERS are suffering 24/7.

      Not even to mention CONSUMERS subsequent preferred and accepting recourse after ingesting these dead foods thus having to relieve the discomforts of consequential symptoms of indigestion, bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation, and particularly pain on their way to developing the above mentioned medically confirmed conditions because the human body is absolutely biologically only designed to properly digest and metabolize alive natural enzymatic substances originating from the same mineral content sources that natural healthy foods are cultivated and grown in minus being treated with dangers chemical poisonous pesticides.?

    3. Speaking as someone who was forced to work on the processed food industry, I can tell people that any frozen food that will have shredded cheese on the top will have had that cheese coated with cellulose. That way, the shredded cheese doesn’t “gum up” the machinery.

    4. I definitely believe there are way to many additives in our food. However, if cellulose or wood pulp is harmless and has no calories, wouldn’t that be good for a population said to be predominantly obese?

    5. It gets worse. I bought some D*******s bread and bit into a chunk of wood. I called the company to complain, and they told me to throw the loaf away. Instead, I called the national food inspection agency, which came to collect the loaf and the wood chip for investigation. Unfortunately, they made me sign an agreement stating that they would investigate only if I wouldn’t ever be allowed to learn the result of the investigation. So then I looked up what’s allowed in bread nowadays. It’s not just cellulose, which is for beavers. They’re allowed to add things like ground-up leftover fruit, including apple stems, seeds, etc. Is the current “gluten intolerance” trend really a “cellulose intolerance”? Hey, we’re not beavers or cows with four stomachs. We can’t digest wood and cellulose. Is this why some people bloat up after eating bread?

    6. Whats really bad is taco bell is whats fed to children at school every day in southern California. Where’s the nutrition in feeding our future generations wood. How is that adding anything to benefit there growing minds and body’s. This also makes eating that sort of product a habit. And so will there children and so on. Who is protecting the children from school lunch. And really what kid is wanting to bring lunch to junior high or high school. No one wants to be the odd one out. They are trying so hard to just fit in at that point in there life. We have all been there.

    7. So it’s a good thing. If it was being hidden, that’s bad, but clearly it’s not. The commenters are ridiculous, though. The perpetually outraged.


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