(USA Today) Taco Bell is revealing what's in its beef, and it turns out it's actually mostly beef.
The fast-food chain's recipe contains 88% beef and 12% "signature recipe," according to a new webpage posted by Taco Bell.
Also, addressing a widespread rumor, Taco Bell beef is not grade D beef, according to the website.
"We use the same quality beef used in all ground beef (like you'd find in the grocery store), only USDA-inspected, 100% premium real beef, period," the website says.
The other ingredients include some hard-to-pronounce words. Taco Bell says many of these items are common at-home ingredients, such as spices and thickeners.
"Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right," according to the chain.
The company also says "artificial flavor" refers to black pepper flavor.
Registered dietician Katherine Tallmadge said these additives to the beef are commonly used in processed foods you would find in the grocery store.
"These are generally considered safe additives," Tallmadge told USA TODAY Network. "I wouldn't be afraid of any of these ingredients."
She added that it's an important lesson for people to take a closer look at what's going into the food they eat.
"People look at the calories, proteins and carbs, but they forget to look at the list of ingredients," she said. "It's important to question, What are these ingredients?"
Taco Bell broke down what some of the strange words mean:
Trehalose: "It's a naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef."
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."
Torula yeast: "This is a form of yeast that gives our seasoned beef a more savory taste."
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."
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