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Hungry? Check out the ingredients in Taco Bell’s “mystery meat”

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Hungry? Love Taco Bell? Have you always wondered what, exactly is in Taco Bell’s “mystery meat?”

It has been a few years since Taco Bell was accused of using mostly fillers in their beef. Taco Bell denied the claim — and now, they’re listing the ingredients in their beef recipe.

Taco Bell says the beef recipe consists of 88% “premium beef” and 12% “signature recipe.”

Taco Bell claims all of the ingredients are safe and approved by the FDA.

Here’s how Taco Bell says the beef is made:

“We start with USDA-inspected quality beef. Then add water to keep it juicy and moist. Mix in Mexican spices and flavors, including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, and cocoa powder. Combine a little oats, yeast, citric acid, and other ingredients that contribute to the flavor, moisture, consistency, and quality of our seasoned beef.”

Below is a list of the added ingredients, and what Taco Bell says they do:

Oats — “The very small percentage of oats is used to help our seasoned beef stay moist.”

Cellulose — “You’ll find it in everything from cheese and vitamins to bread and pasta.”

Artificial Flavor — “Added to enhance the taste.”

Soy Lecithin — “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.”

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

Sodium Phosphates — “Well, we use them to help make sure our seasoned beef is the right texture.”

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.”

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.”

Modified Corn Starch — “We use a small amount as a thickener and to maintain moisture in our seasoned beef. It’s common in many foods like yogurt.”

Citric Acid — “We use a small percentage in our overall recipe to add brighter flavor.”

Caramel Color and Cocoa Powder – “Caramel color is carmelized 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.”But 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.

LEARN MORE about what’s in Taco Bell’s beef by CLICKING HERE.

CLICK HERE to learn what ingredients can be found in virtually every Taco Bell product.


  • Stupid Flanders

    Now wonder it burns so much when it comes out the other end but i’m glad they put all that stuff in there because the alternative would be to use 100% real ground beef. And who would want that?

  • Amber

    Cellulose is completely indigestible in the human body, similar to the coat or corn. Maltodextrin is a very complex sugar that is extremely difficult to digest as well.

  • diane

    As I remember from my chemistry class, Sodium Chloride is nothing more than common table salt. Exactly how much salt is in this “meat” so those with high blood pressure can manage their health?

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