Tell 'Em About The Twinkie: What's In It?

What is it about the Twinkie that inspires such speculation about its ingredients…and its shelf life? We don’t know, but Newsweek has broken down what’s actually in a Twinkie. It’s gross, but then, if you’ve eaten one, you knew it would be. From Newsweek:

THE FILLING

• Shortening (in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and/or beef fat) is the main ingredient.
• Polysorbate 60 is a gooey substance that helps replace cream and eggs at a fraction of the cost. It’s derived from corn, palm oil and petroleum.

• Cellulose gum gives the cr

me filling a smooth, slippery feel.

• Artificial vanillin is synthesized in petrochemical plants. The real thing comes from finicky tropical orchids that are pollinated by hand on the one day they bloom.

Good thing we haven’t actually eaten one of these things since the Nixon administration. Yes, we’re exaggerating. No, we were not alive.—MEGHANN MARCO

Twinkies [Newsweek]