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The Answer to What You’ve Always Wondered About Taco Bell’s Meat: What's Actually In It?

"Want you to know the truth."

Image source: Taco Bell/Facebook

There's something about Taco Bell's ground beef that has made some people wonder just what else might be in there. It turns out, the restaurant is pretty forthcoming with what ingredients are in its fast food items.

Image source: Taco Bell/Facebook Image source: Taco Bell/Facebook

"At Taco Bell, providing you and your friends with delicious food at great value is our #1 priority. We also go to great lengths to be open about the ingredients we use, and want you to know the truth," the company's website stated.

The seasoned beef found in its tacos, burritos and other menu items is "88 [percent] Premium Beef and 12 [percent] Signature Recipe."

This percentage is more than what a lawsuit filed in 2011 alleged was in the seasoned beef. At the time, the lawsuit filed by attorneys' behalf of a Taco Bell customer in federal court in the Central District of California, said that the meat was less than 35 percent beef. Monetary damages were not sought, but the plaintiff asked that Taco Bell be transparent about its ingredients.

According to Taco Bell's statement issue after the lawsuit was filed, the percentage of meat is the same as what it's claiming today.

The company more recently created a guide for those interested in learning more about what they're eating. It explains some of those other non-meat ingredients in the recipe that have "weird names" but are "completely safe and approved by the [Food and Drug Administration]."

Here's a break down of just a few ingredients in Taco Bell's 12 percent:

  • Cellulose: Cellulose is a safe carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants and helps with water and oil binding. You'll find it in everything from cheese and vitamins to bread and pasta.
  • Trehalose: It’s a naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef.
  • Potassium chloride: Well, potassium chloride is a common salt substitute used in the food industry. We actually used it to help reduce the amount of salt used in our seasoned beef recipe, which is part of our ongoing effort to reduce sodium levels in our ingredients while still delivering the same great taste you expect from us.
  • 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.
  • Sodium phosphates: 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.

Check out the ingredients in all of Taco Bell's products on its ingredient statement page.

(H/T: Popular Science)

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