Twinkies Shelf Life Finally Expiring?

It takes 39 ingredients to give a Twinkie its famed shelf life.
3:00 | 01/10/12

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Transcript for Twinkies Shelf Life Finally Expiring?
How do you find out how -- posters. When most people look get a twinkie -- -- -- small yellow cake four inches long with cream inside. They see a moist delicious dessert and give a -- -- I didn't -- I don't post twenty. But when food writers Steve calendar looks -- twinkies but he sees something more. I see the mastery of the problems of shelf life of distribution. Making something in large quantity while keeping it sanitary looking -- -- -- uniform while looking at twenty I think golden creamy -- Up until perhaps because I didn't know just what was behind that gold -- -- creamy goodness I was nine. -- -- than a the thousand year old week. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil -- involving sixty and given back five. Sargent Al. 2039. 39. Now that's counting the vitamins and minerals in the fortified flour ladies the most impressive tell that they're ever so this -- creamy goodness is pretty complicated. It's very complicated. And our -- -- because he did something. Little astounding and a little -- He -- an entire book on the twinkie and then my sweet little girl who it that it still thought daddy knew everything. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- He spent five years as a food detected traveling the country to track down the source of all 39 ingredients -- didn't exactly cooperate. Even though I didn't reveal any secrets certainly had no no trade secrets and and definitely -- I didn't reveal anything shockingly bad. -- turns out 500 million twinkies every year 500 million. Each one is made from flour sugar corn syrup things might expect. And then there were awful lot of things you might never expect. In -- you normally eat -- rocket fuel for instance there is corn Dexter is a great glue -- that we found in the back of envelopes that you think. Stays drive when strives NASA sticky when it's wet. Sticks right it -- you have not seen them in the end there is cellulose film in Detroit he gives the -- -- -- A lot of low fat salad dressings ice creams and it's used -- rocket fuel. To give a slightly until at this field the rocket fuel I just love that rocket fuel and it's a strange kind of -- Hunt is having a Hostess Twinkies light when -- clearly laid out a luncheon you really in the -- it didn't look much like a magical flying twenty -- Nor did it look much like a bakery it -- chemistry -- It is it is like a chemistry set I have to tell you I really enjoyed coming through the airport security with -- big rocks that's right. Rocks at least five rocks go into making -- twenty there -- trolling in the baking soda. Limestone in the baking powder in of course salt or anything wrong with the fact the twenty -- 39 ingredients that are made from rocks and use petroleum. No because if there -- that be something wrong with all -- processed foods. Everybody loves the desert with a twinkle that -- -- Hostess Twinkies most of the twenty ingredients are everywhere. And put him sodium Terrell actively catch -- high fructose corn syrup peanut butter partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and energy drinks just to name a few sugar corn -- canola oil. So how can we get back to the rain you can't make these products without that chemistry set of ingredients. I have all real what I call whole foods whole -- flowers that are -- the least we found a woman makes -- -- twinkie. It tastes OK. But comes at a cost. To have established -- -- but will be much shorter but there she said it. The magic words that make the twenty world and the world of all processed foods go round. Shelf life. In order to get shelf life you give up something fresh eggs fresh cream fresh butter so you need to not only extend the shelf life. Of the product you're making -- -- replace those things with -- -- fires he would replace the butter -- flavors. Or colors if replace them with things. And that's what ingredient -- -- getting along. Twinkies have a legendary shelf life. They're rumored to last longer than their plastic -- -- -- true what they still can't last about a month the twenty people have managed. To keep the filling just so it doesn't get absorbed into the -- that's a big challenge for a baker. -- -- had a somewhat metaphysical take on Steve's book. Deconstructing the twinkie is like trying to deconstruct the universe some people look at the sky and think it's beautiful. Others try to count the stars we think the millions of people what may twinkies one of the most popular snacks in American history. Would agree that twinkies just taste great. Believe it or not deep at -- agrees to treat. My absence of dessert you can eat desserts you can eat treats occasionally. Eating up problem and you'll be able to suss out the bouquet of fresh. Delaware -- -- sixty or that fine mid western soybean shortening. If not the finest high fructose corn syrup Nebraska has to offer -- so at least now you know what you're eating. That's a relief for I'm John Berman for Nightline in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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