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I was shocked to hear that certain products such as bread contain E920 L-Cysteine but in the same breath not that shocked as food with any additive in this world has now got so much things we are aware and not aware of that is not good for us.

E920 IS obtained from human hair, pig hair and duck feathers (there is a synthetic form rarely used) due to the additive some breads and biscuits should be avoided, I choose not to eat pork and found this shocking that it is not clearly indicated on bread and biscuit packets.

Also the thought of human hair is off putting and I feel strongly that food should be labeled so everyone can choose for themselves.

I have since checked the label of breads here in the UK and I have found that some do contain it, I also researched various websites.

I have been wanting to get back into baking my bread and I will most defiantly take the time to do so as well as visit the bakery.

Here is some more information followed by useful links below

E920 : L-Cysteine

An essential amino acid, present in all protein (essential indicates that it is needed by the human body). Derived from proteins, including animal protein and hair.

Function & Characteristics:
Bread enhancer. It stabilises the structure of leavened bread.


Acceptable daily intake (ADI) :
None determined

Side effects:
None known.

Dietary restrictions:
None. E920 can be obtained from animal sources, including pork. It should thus be avoided by Muslims, Jews, Hindus and vegans.

There are some useful links below with more research and information


Article by Dr Yunes Teinaz

BBC website


GMWA Food Guide