Are McDonald's (MCD) fries even made of potatoes? Why are there 17 ingredients in its fries?
fast-food giant lifted the veil on its fry production line and
ingredient list Tuesday to dispel myths about one of its most popular
items in two new videos.
The fry tour is the latest in a series
of segments with former MythBusters star Grant Imahara aimed at
addressing rumors about the quality of its food and improving
transparency as it struggles to turn around its U.S. business.
Turns out, there are real spuds in the fries. As for that 17 number, that's a myth.
There are really 19 ingredients.
addition to different oils, the list includes several chemicals that
perform various functions, including ones that adds flavor, an
anti-foaming agent that keeps oil from splattering, another aimed at
keeping "the potatoes from going gray" and preservatives, Imahara
Imahara also takes a tour at Simplot, which supplies potatoes to McDonald's USA, with Koko Neher, a production planner there.
potatoes travel on a conveyor belt before being shot throw a
high-pressure water tube through a grate at 60 to 70 miles per hour.
Next up is the "ingredient dip."
is the ingredient dip, where we control the color, and we're adding
dextrose – all natural sugar – to make sure that we get a consistent
color no matter what time of the year it is," said Neher, adding that it
also puts in sodium acid pyrophosphate to control "graying after
After that, the fries are partially fried before
traveling through a massive freezer tunnel of about 50 yards in length.
Final preparation occurs at the restaurant.
Salesman to McD's mogul: Who will play Ray Kroc?
at the end of the day, it's not a Franken fry composed of chemicals,"
he said. "McDonald's French fries are made of potatoes."
That…and 18 other ingredients, according to McDonald's.