Taco Bell takes the mystery out of the ‘other’ ingredients in its meat

BY Ariel Min  April 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM EST
Photo by Gel Cruz/Flickr

Photo by Gel Cruz/Flickr

Taco Bell was kind enough to tell us what’s in the other 12 percent of its beef: “they do have weird names, but they’re all safe and approved by the FDA,” says Taco Bell.

On its website, the popular food chain explains in a friendly voice what all is in the “other” ingredient. It breaks down each item for you, mostly because you probably have never heard of them — like torula yeast, lactic acid, maltodextrin, soy lecithin, etc.

These ingredients are completely safe and approved by the FDA, according to Taco Bell. So no need to worry, right? The company argues a lot of food items you buy at your local grocery store probably have these ingredients too.

Whether each explanation of the ingredient and what it does to human bodies is clear enough is another question. For example, when the site explains modified corn starch, which is among “the other 12 percent,” it says that it’s derived from corn. Then it goes onto explain what corn is — “a food staple in Mexican culture as well as many others.” They use it “as a thickener and to maintain moisture in our seasoned beef.”

Derek Lowe, a chemist and blogger with a Ph.D from Duke University, told ABC News that “there is nothing on this list I have a problem eating.”