If you have ever wondered what the FD&C Yellow #5 in a Twinkie actually looks like, wait no longer, one man has gone through the trouble of photographing every Twinkie ingredient individually. That's 37 ingredients, with the most innocuous sounding of them being wheat flour.
The unifying visual theme for the Twinkie ingredients appears to be "pale white/gray powder." More than three quarters of the ingredients pictured look like they're straight out of the prop closet for Blow. No word on which ingredient bestows Twinkies with their legendary shelf life, which sadly isn't as long as various people have claimed.
The man behind the photos is photographer Dwight Eschliman who actually has a glossy coffee table book showing each ingredient lovingly plated into an empty petri dish. In the about section of his page he explains that his mother was bit of a health freak and that he didn't actually get his hands on a Twinkie until college. He also mentions how, now that he's a parent, he has become intensely curious at what kinds of things his kids are shoveling into their faces.
Eschliman also recommends a book called Twinkie Deconstructed. Twinkie Deconstructed takes a look at those mysterious 37 Twinkie ingredients and where exactly they come from. As you might guess there's no FD&C Yellow #5 tree, polysorbate 60 bush or elusive diglyceride-beast. All of those ingredients have to come from somewhere and Twinkie Deconstructed delves into how we turn rocks into baking soda and corn into high fructose corn syrup.
Of course if all of this Twinkie science sounds boring, perhaps you should checkout the fine work of the Twinkies Project which sought to measure the performance of America's favorite snack thing in extreme environments. Spoiler: They light a Twinkie on fire and discover it produces a blue flame.