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Top 25 Ingredients in Taco Bell’s ‘Beef’

A law firm in Alabama is suing Taco Bell for false advertising, charging that what the fast food giant calls "beef" contains only 36% actual cow flesh. Here's what makes up the other 64% of the meat-esque substance dripping from your chalupa. This list is based on an official ingredient label obtained by Gizmodo.

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  • 1. Beef


  • 2. Water


  • 3. Isolated Oat Product

    Used as a cheap “meat extender” to increase shelf life and impart a savory, protein flavor.


  • 4. Salt


  • 5. Chili Pepper


  • 6. Onion Powder


  • 7. Tomato Powder


  • 8. Oats

    See isolated oat product.


  • 9. Soy Lecithin

    An emulsifier and “wetting agent.”


  • 10. Sugar


  • 11. Spices


  • 12. Maltodextrin

    An additive used as a sweetener, typically corn-based.


  • 13. Soybean Oil


  • 14. Garlic Powder


  • 15. Autolyzed Yeast Extract

    Autolyzed yeast extract contains monosodium glutamate and is used as a less expensive substitute for MSG.


  • 16. Citric Acid

    Used in this instance as a meat tenderizer.


  • 17. Caramel Color


  • 18. Cocoa Powder


  • 19. Silicon Dioxide

    Silicon dioxide is used as an anti-caking agent in food, but is also used to make silica gel desiccants.


  • 20. Natural Flavors


  • 21. Yeast


  • 22. Modified Corn Starch


  • 23. Natural Smoke Flavor


  • 24. More Salt


  • 25. Sodium Phosphate

    Used as a meat preservative in food, sodium phosphate is also an effective laxative found in enemas.

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