Some of the surprising products that can include pig material include photographic film, which uses collagen from pig bones; shoes that use bone glue from pigs to improve the quality of the leather; and certain paints that use bone fat to enhance their glossy properties.
Some makers of cigarettes use haemoglobin from pig’s blood in their filters. Apparently this element works as a sort of ‘artificial lung’ in the cigarette so, they claim, ‘harmful reactions take place before the chemicals reach the user’.
And the next time you buy a loaf of bread you would be well advised to read the packaging. Some manufacturers use an ingredient called L-cysteine, which is a protein made from pig or other animal hair and which is used to soften the dough.
A product like Tesco’s Plain Tortilla Wraps includes this ingredient. The strangest use for a pig by-product that Christein found was in bullets and explosives. Pig bone gelatine was used to help transport the gunpowder or cordite into the bullet. It is difficult not to be impressed by the sheer versatility of this animal and its parts.
Virtually nothing in a pig goes to waste. The snout from Pig 05049 became a deep-fried dog snack, while pig ears are sometimes used for chemical weapon testing due to their similarity to human tissue.
Tattoo artists even buy sections of pig skin to practise their craft on due to its similarity to human skin, while it is occasionally used with burns patients for the same reason.
Pigs make an enormous contribution to medicine, with insulin, the blood-thinning drug heparin and pig heart valves all vital.
However, for vegetarians, Jews keeping kosher, Muslims and anybody else wishing to avoid pig products, this may not be such good news.
The complex workings of the global food and processing industry have ensured that it is almost impossible to avoid pig altogether.
Read more: daily.co.uk