Odd ingredient in baked goods? Is it just me?

teresa_nc7October 16, 2012

While I'm not a (very) paranoid person, I have noticed this odd "matter" in baked goods for quite some time. Today I had half of a delicious pumpkin bar made by a very good caterer in my town. It was dessert for a catered lunch at work.

Some time after I finished the bar, I noticed something in my mouth that wouldn't completely break down from chewing. It wasn't coconut or a bit of dried batter/flour, but when I took it out of my mouth, it looked a little like paper. Now, I have noticed this before with other baked goods, but not from anything I baked myself. The "matter/paper" is small in size, it will get wet while in the mouth, but it doesn't fall apart like batter crumb would. It has no flavor, but a texture, like I said, like soggy paper. And the other times I noticed it were with cookies, etc. from other sources, not just this caterer.

Has anyone else ever noticed this? And.....what the heck is it?


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    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:25PM
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LOL Lindac

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:28PM
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I find that in my own baked goods....and it's always a piece of butter paper.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Parchment paper from the baking sheet that got scooped up when the spatula removed it to the cooling rack.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Seagrass, I think it could be cellulose after reading up on it. If I wanted that in my diet, I could just go outside and gnaw on a tree......what next?


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:29PM
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Teresa - I get really grossed out reading the ingredients list on a lot of high fiber baked " goods". Bread & English muffins come to mind. Cellulose fiber is almost always listed. Ick, yuck, no thank you.

Anyone here remember paper mache??

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:50PM
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I'm with Lindac. The first thing I thought was butter wrapper.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:05PM
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I'm leaning toward the parchment paper, although I've also been guilty of the occasional butter wrapper, LOL.

Sometimes I line a pan with parchment and a bit just seems to stick to the bottom of whatever I'm baking. I try to be diligent and scrape it off with a sharp knife but if I were making lots of something I'd probably miss a bit now and again, especially if the baked goods were a sticky something.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I'm also thinking it must have been some baking paper that somehow got ingrained in the product. I can't see a caterer purposely using cellulose as an ingredient. I've always assumed that was a practice of big-business-food-manufacturing.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 1:33AM
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Since it was a local caterer, I would just call and ask. In a non-threatening way of course, or they might think you are gonna sue! :) If I was a caterer and someone found something like this in one of my dishes, I would certainly want to know about it. It may be bad ingredient that they are unaware of.
Just a thought.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 6:12AM
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From the bit of reading that I've done, cellulose in baked goods is a powder that is hydrated & turns into a clear gel or paste...i.e., it's not like chunks of sawdust in the baked goods. Supposedly useful in gluten-free products where it's used to replicate the gluten of wheat flours. Feel free to correct me if I've made the wrong assumption.

I've never had a problem getting the butter wrapper separated from the butter, even with a Lab & a Sheltie anxiously waiting for me to pass it down! :)....sooo, I'm leaning towards thinking that the odd bit is some stray parchment paper as others have already mentioned.

Or possibly, a flake of oatmeal??? Sometimes when I use whole rolled oats, I'll come across one that's extra chewy & kinda' sharp...like maybe a part of the husk was still attached.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 6:45AM
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I fairly regularly get butter wrapper in baked goods. My habit is to lop off tablespoonsfull of butter from a frozen stick. That's the way I measure butter....and sometimes I get a little piece in the cookie...not sure how. I have a horror of getting paper in my mouth....so much so that I avoid using cup-cake papers....and for many years I couldn't stand to use paper napkins to wipe my mouth....and certainly not to hold a cookie I might take a bite of!

Cellulose is simply the part of vegetables that is undigestable....also known as fiber. Nothing yuck about it at all...adding it to food is a way of decreasing calories and increasing fiber.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Or could it be that bit of dense white stuff in the egg white? I found a piece similar in the pumpkin muffins I made the other day, and remember some of the white stuff being denser than usual. I tried to pick most of it out, but I know I missed some.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:21AM
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I was wondering if it was a piece of that indescribably obnoxious stuff they pass off as coconut these days.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 3:55PM
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