Taco Bell reveals mystery ingredients in ’88 percent beef’

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Back in 2011, Taco Bell responded to a lawsuit that claimed their beef was “fake” by revealing their beef is 88 percent beef. Since then, many have asked “What’s the other 12 percent?”

Taco Bell recently added an explainer on its website to explain the “other 12 percent.”

While the company admits the ingredients that make up the 12 percent have “weird names,” they assure customers the ingredients are all safe and approved by the FDA.

“They’re common ingredients also found in food items at your grocery store,” the company states on its website. “Each ingredient helps make our Seasoned Beef taste great. Many of them are items you might use at home such as salt, peppers, and spices. Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right.”

The company also specified the company only uses USDA-inspected 100 percent premium beef.

Here’s the full list of ingredients and explanations from Taco Bell:

1. MALTODEXTRIN

“It sounds weird, but it’s actually a form of mildly sweet sugar we use to balance the flavor. You may have had it the last time you had a natural soda.”

2. TORULA YEAST

“This is a form of yeast that gives our seasoned beef a more savory taste.”

3. MODIFIED CORN STARCH

“Actually, it’s derived from corn, which is a food staple in Mexican culture as well as many others. We use a small amount as a thickener and to maintain moisture in our seasoned beef. It’s common in many foods like yogurt.”

4. SOY LECITHIN

“When you prepare as much seasoned beef as we do, you don’t want it to separate. That’s what soy lecithin does. It helps (with moisture) to bind substances that would otherwise separate — like oil and water. It’s a common ingredient in many grocery staples, like chocolate bars and salad dressings.”

5. SODIUM PHOSPHATES

“Well, we use them to help make sure our seasoned beef is the right texture. They’re also commoWell, we use them to help make sure our seasoned beef is the right texture. They’re also commonly found in deli items, cheeses, coffee drinks and desserts.nly found in deli items, cheeses, coffee drinks and desserts.”

6. LACTIC ACID

“This safe acid occurs in almost all living things, and we use a very small amount to manage the acidity to get the right flavor.”

7. CARAMEL COLOR AND COCOA POWDER

“The caramel color is caramelized sugar, which is a commonly used food coloring (also found in cereals and pancake syrup). Cocoa Powder doesn’t add any flavor to our recipe, but it helps our seasoned beef maintain a rich color.”

8. TREHALOSE

“It’s a naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef.”

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