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So I was at my mom's house the other day, where junk food sometimes lives, and I saw a bag of Mrs. Baird's chocolate frosted mini donuts. Remembering them vaguely from my childhood and wanting to possibly relive that taste, I checked the ingredient list to make sure they were vegetarian.

There I found two ingredients I didn't recognize (along with the usual slew of unpronouncable synthetic chemicals). One was "tween", the other was "span". A quick Wikipedia search confirmed that tween is a wetting agent used to "spread out" the flavor of a product. Whatever.

But Wikipedia didn't know what span was in ingredient form. And Google is throwing me off because "span" is just too common of a word.

Does anyone have any idea what the word "span" refers to when it describes a food ingredient?
 
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