1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
TODAY contributor

Explainer: 37 things Twinkie eaters ingest

  • Image: Twinkies
    Dwight Eschliman Photography

    Oh, Twinkie snack cake. As a nation, we’ve adored you for 80 years. But what are you made of?

    Author Steve Ettlinger spent years unearthing the answers to that very question. Using a Twinkie label as a guide, he interviewed chemical engineers and industrial bakers and even traveled 1,600 feet below the surface of the Earth to see where Twinkie ingredients — the same ingredients used in plenty of processed foods — are, ummmm, mined. He chronicled his findings in his fun-to-read book, “Twinkie, Deconstructed.”

    The book inspired photographer Dwight Eschliman to photograph the 37 or so ingredients in a Twinkie snack cake. Eschliman’s photos can be seen here, with each ingredient appearing in descending order of prominence. (A few Twinkie ingredients such as calcium sulfate, a food-grade equivalent of plaster of Paris, are not pictured.) Just click “Next” at the left to continue the journey into snack-cake science.

    To read the full story about Ettlinger’s and Eschliman’s work, click here.

  • Ingredient No. 1

    Wheat flour

    Image: Wheat flour
    Dwight Eschliman Photography

  • Ingredient No. 2

    Image: Folic acid
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Folic acid

  • Ingredient No. 3

    Image: Niacin
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Niacin

  • Ingredient No. 4

    Image: Thiamine Mononitrate
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Thiamine mononitrate

  • Ingredient No. 5

    Image: Riboflavin
    Dwight Eschliman Photography

    Riboflavin

  • Ingredient No. 6

    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Iron. (The ingredient in Twinkies is ferrous sulfate, an iron compound.)

  • Ingredient No. 7

    Image: Sugar
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Sugar

  • Ingredient No. 8

    Image: Water
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Water

  • Ingredient No. 9

    Image: Corn syrup
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Corn syrup

  • Ingredient No. 10

    Image: High fructose corn syrup
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    High fructose corn syrup

  • Ingredient No. 11

    Image: Vegetable shortening
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Vegetable shortening

  • Ingredient No. 12

    Image: Animal shortening
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Animal shortening

  • Ingredient No. 13

    Image: Whole eggs
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Whole eggs

  • Ingredient No. 14

    Image: Dextrose
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Dextrose

  • Ingredient No. 15

    Image: Modified corn starch
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Modified cornstarch

  • Ingredient No. 16

    Image: Corn flour
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Corn flour

  • Ingredient No. 17

    Image: Glucose
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Glucose

  • Ingredient No. 18

    Image: Baking soda
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Baking soda

  • Ingredient No. 19

    Image: Monocalcium phosphate
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Monocalcium phosphate

  • Ingredient No. 20

    Image: c
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Sodium acid pyrophosphate

  • Ingredient No. 21

    Image: Sweet dairy whey
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Sweet dairy whey

  • Ingredient No. 22

    Image: Soy protein isolate
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Soy protein isolate

  • Ingredient No. 23

    Image: Calcium caseinate
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Calcium caseinate

  • Ingredient No. 24

    Image: Sodium caseinate
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Sodium caseinate

  • Ingredient No. 25

    Image: Soy flour
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Soy flour

  • Ingredient No. 26

    Image: Salt
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Salt

  • Ingredient No. 27

    Image: Monoglyceride
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Monoglyceride

  • Ingredient No. 28

    Image: Diglyceride
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Diglyceride

  • Ingredient No. 29

    Image: Polysorbate 60
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Polysorbate 60

  • Ingredient No. 30

    Image: Corn dextrin
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Corn dextrin

  • Ingredient No. 31

    Image: Soy lecithin
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Soy lecithin

  • Ingredient No. 32

    Image: Cornstarch
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Cornstarch

  • Ingredient No. 33

    Image: Cellulose gum
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Cellulose gum

  • Ingredient No. 34

    Image: Sodium stearoyl lactylate
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Sodium stearoyl lactylate

  • Ingredient No. 35

    Image: Sorbic acid
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Sorbic acid

  • Ingredient No. 36

    Image:  FD&C Yellow #5
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    FD&C Yellow #5

  • Ingredient No. 37

    Image: Red 40
    Dwight Eschliman Photography
    Red 40

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Brazen bike bandits caught on camera

    NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen and his team locked a bike to a tree in San Francisco and not only captured its theft on camera, but followed it on its journey after being stolen.

    9/2/2014 11:44:23 AM +00:00 2014-09-02T11:44:23
  1. TODAY

    video CDC director: Ebola epidemic ‘spiraling out of control’

    9/2/2014 11:49:11 AM +00:00 2014-09-02T11:49:11