What is in processed foods? Only the manufacturers know for sure, and they aren't talking. You could look on the ingredients list on the label, but that is like taking a politician at their word. What you are likely to get is less truth, and more truthiness, or even outright falsifications.
I read recently about a food lab that tested hot dogs to see what they really contained. Some of the products contained things not on the label, like pork in all-beef wieners, or meat in vegetarian hot dogs. The lab even found human DNA in some hot dog products.
So what is really in processed foods? Unless you have a food lab in your basement it is impossible to know.
Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute, a nutrition and weight management centre, said, “That speaks to a larger picture . . . as far as what’s in the foods that we’re buying, we really are at the mercy of the manufacturers.”
“The simplest way to not worry about the contents of your box or jar is not to buy products that are in boxes and jars, and really try to maximize the transformation of fresh, whole ingredients into food,” he said.
Best to try not to buy anything in a box, jar, or tube, regardless of how convenient or tasty they might be. The best food is real food, not factory food.
As Michael Pollan says, "If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't.