Human hair, cysteine, honey glazed

I was having a discussion with my vegetarian friend, who informed me that a major donut company uses an enzyme derived from human hair to make it’s product. An internet search lead me to find out that L-cysteine, which can be made from human hair or duck feathers, is used in commercial baking. However, I cannot by any stretch of the imagination figure on a way that anything can be made from human hair more cheaply than it can from duck or chicken feathers, or hog hair. Does commercial L-cysteine come from the shorn locks of the chinese?

Wikipedia is your friend:

Just to clarify, L-cysteine is not an “enzyme”. It’s an amino acid. It’s one of 20 amino acids that are the building blocks of every protein made by every organism on earth.

So now that the question has been answered what are we going to honey-glaze?

I vote ham. I haven’t had ham in a while.

There’s human hair in glazed donuts:confused: :eek:

Then the question is, who is putting amino acids in my donuts? I expect the big three in my donuts: fat, starch and sugar. Amino acids, vitamins, mineral - these things have no place in fried dough.

Nonsense. Wheat flour contains plenty of protein (the gluten), and L-cysteine is a component of nearly all proteins. It is going to be in there anyway. A donut made with pure starch, rather than flour, would not be the same at all. I am not sure it would even hold together during frying.

I agree.

Looks like my favorite donuts have 3-4 grams of protein for a 60-75 gram serving. That sounds about right to me.

protein forms the containers to hold all that goodness together. it is the price we must pay.

Homer will eat out of the bag/can/jar if need be.

Why not? They can’t be called junk food if they are full of vitamins and minerals and other good stuff, like these cookies (which also don’t have the nasty stuff, especially trans fat, so often added to junk food).

How do you get L-cysteine off an elephant?

Take away its credit card!
no…wait…wrong question…

We already eat a lot of L-cysteine in our regular diets. It’s in most meats, dairy products, and some veggies (in small amounts).

No cause for alarm.


And don’t forget tryptophan, the amino acid found in all wheat flour baked goods.

Maillard reactions, chemical reactions between amino acids and sugars, are essential for creating the typical flavors and smells of baked and fried foods

L-cysteine is added to flour to improve workability of the dough - it is also naturally present in other protein sources in the diet.