What’s Actually in a Twinkie?

This famous snack food is full of chemicals

One Twinkie contains 150 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

Twinkies are one of the world’s most famous, and infamous, foods. The simple snack cake, filled with that classic crème, has won legions of fans as well as plenty of detractors, but one thing is clear: it’s made quite an impact on the American culinary landscape. But what’s in them, exactly?

There are eight major ingredients in Twinkies: flour, sugar, corn syrup, water, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening, dextrose (a type of sugar), and eggs. There are also a whole host of chemicals, preservatives, and additives, so here’s a breakdown of some of the ingredients.

Mono and Diglycerides
These are emulsifiers that stabilize the batter and extend shelf life.

Polysorbate 60
This helps keep the filling creamy without the use of extra fat.

Sorbic Acid
This preservative inhibits mold growth.

Cellulose Gum
This fat substitute keeps the filling smooth and creamy.

Corn Dextrin
This is a soluble fiber that improves the flavor and color of the cake.

Soy Protein Isolate
Essentially soybeans that have been stripped of all nutrition except for the protein, this is used to help hold the cake together.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
This additive strengthens dough, helps emulsify liquids and oils, and can replace a small amount of fat and sugar.

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And the list goes on. Sound delicious? Maybe check the label next time before you buy processed snacks!