Taco Bell comes clean about ‘seasoned beef’ recipe

Posted at 7:22 AM, Apr 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-30 07:22:54-04

(WTVR) – When you order a beef taco from Taco Bell, you probably expect to get meat. And, for the most part, you do.  Taco Bell said 88 percent of its seasoned beef recipe is Premium Beef. So what makes up the other 12 percent?

Taco Bell posted an explainer on its website.

Here are some of the “other” ingredients:

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 carameli