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Doritos: The Perfect Snack Food?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Forget about the Da Vinci code. It’s the Doritos' code that has made the snack one of America’s favorite junk foods.

Food scientist Steven A. Witherly says it’s a combination of factors that has gotten many hooked on Doritos, which seems to keep expanding its stable of yummy flavors.

Witherly points out that 50 percent of Doritos' calories comes from fat, which besides tasting good, tricks your brain into thinking you’re not really eating as much as you think you are.  This sort of mindless stuffing of the face has a technical name: vanishing calorie density.

But it’s not just fat that has fans often finishing off a bag in one sitting. Doritos' powder is enticing as is the real Romano cheese, the garlic powder and three different kinds of salt. Then there’s ingredients with the unappetizing names of monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate that help to create a savory flavor as well as citric and lactic acids that stimulate the eating impulse.

Even the bag looks good enough to eat, says Witherly.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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