Taco Bell reveals mystery beef ingredients

This photo provided by Taco Bell shows an advertisement for Doritos Locos Tacos shells. (AP Photo/Taco Bell)
May 1, 2014 2:29:49 PM PDT
After Taco Bell revealed its taco filling is 88 percent beef, many wondered what made up the other 12 percent.

Well, the fast food restaurant has answered those questions.

On its , Taco Bell revealed the other ingredients that make up its beef.

"They do have weird names ? perfect for tongue twisters! But these ingredients are completely safe and approved by the FDA. They're common ingredients also found in food items at your grocery store," the website states.

Here are some of the ingredients and what Taco Bell has to say about them:

1. MALTODEXTRIN

Taco Bell: 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

Taco Bell: This is a form of yeast that gives our seasoned beef a more savory taste.

3. MODIFIED CORN STARCH

Taco Bell: 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

Taco Bell: 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

Taco Bell: Well, 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.

6. LACTIC ACID

Taco Bell: 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

Taco Bell: 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

Taco Bell: It's a naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef.

The company also says there is no MSG added and it only uses "USDA-inspected, 100% premium real beef, period."

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ABC News contributed to this article.


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