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What’s Really in McDonald’s French Fries?

We told you, a few weeks back, that former MythBusters investigator Grant Imahara had been hired by McDonald’s to debunk ‘myths’ about what goes into the burger giant’s various menu items. The latest show-and-tell video focuses on something we’ve all been wondering about – the Fries…

Drum roll, please - © 2015 McDonald's RestaurantsDrum roll, please… Here’s the ‘official’ list of ingredients that go into every
McDonald’s Fry. How many  ingredients do you count?

I, personally, thought Imahara got off to a shaky start when he opened his presentation by saying that, contrary to other reports, there are not 17 but 19 ingredients in every McFry. Well, even that’s not right, technically. In fact, there are just 15 distinct ingredients. The other four are repeated since they are components of both the process oil the fries are pre-cooked in at the plant and the oil in which the fries are finish-cooked at the restaurant.

Yes, there are different types of oil, blended by McDonald’s to meet the requests of customers a few years back, to reduce the saturated fats in their foods and cooking processes. But there are also preservatives – not to preserve the food, but to keep the oils from going rancid, between the oil plant and the fries plant, and between the fries plant and the restaurant.

There is also a selection of ingredients including Dextrose (a simple sugar, to make sure the fires come out the same perfect golden brown each batch every time) and Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate – a preservative known in the foodservice industry as ‘Spud White’ – which keeps fresh-peeled raw Potatoes, or frozen Spuds, from turning red or black.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in the list of McFry ingredients is ‘natural beef flavour’. That’s there simply because McDonald’s fries rose to fame – even the stuff of fast food legend – being fried in beef fat! The signature flavour you expect from McFries is really dependent on the beef fat! But, in the move to more-responsible frying fats, McDonald’s had to give that up. ‘No go!’ customers said. So they added back the beef flavour!

Yup: McD’s is serious about their fries!

View the video here…

~ Maggie J.