Saturday, 25 February 2012

What's really in a Mcdonald's chicken nugget?

We've all had them since we were young, and most likely still love them to this day. There's so much variety, you can get them in a box of 6, 10 and 20 in America! What are you actually putting into your body?

Mcdonald's started out as a Barbecue restaurant in 1940, ran by a Married couple who used production lines to get food made faster. Then came along a businessman called Ray Kroc who developed the restaurant into a worldwide franchise.

The ingredients
Here is the ingredient list for the nugget, taken from the Mcdonalds website

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphates, natural flavor (botanical source).  Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour,  food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch.

CONTAINS: WHEAT (The least of your worries)

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness).
Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent

Chances are you won't be able to pronounce half of these, never mind know what they actually are!

Spell-checker tells me half these words are wrong, which proves my point!

Detective work

White boneless chicken - The thing you want to be buying, makes up for just 44% of the nugget. If that's not worrying you, the fact that the other 36% is made of industrial chemicals should!

Salt - there's 0.5 grams of salt in these bad boys, which is pretty much the only test they pass as 0.5g is a small proportion of your recommended 6g a day.

Dextrose - A type of sugar, oh good, more sugar than you already want!

It all goes downhill from here..

Food starch-modified - This is to chicken nuggets as cement is to a house. It holds all the bits together, note I did say bits, the 38 other ingredients need to be stuck together.

Natural flavouring - It says it comes from a botanical source, which means it came from some kind of plant, maybe there's a hidden reason Mcdonalds doesn't want you knowing which plant

Citric acid - Used for preserving the nuggets, also found in oranges and other sour foods

Sodium Phosphates - The type of sodium phosphate here here Trisodium phosphate, used in cleaning, degreaser and stain remover, at some point in time it was the main chemical in soaps

Bleached wheat - You know, the stuff which stinks and used to clean your kitchen? Yeah that's in the wheat to make your nuggets too..

Niacin - Believe it or not this is one of the essential human nutrients!

Pyrophosphate - Used as a buffering agent in chemistry woo! (keeps pH the same)

Sodium aluminium phosphate - An acidic form of baking powder

Monocalcium phosphate - This stuff is used for fertilisers, lucky you!

Calcium lactate - Sometimes found in aged cheeses, also found in sugarfree chewing gum

Hydrogenated soybean oil - A fancy word for trans fats, this stuff is BAD and lowers the levels of good cholesterol making you more prone to heart disease and heart attacks

TBHQ - They use this in perfumes to stop it evaporating and also added to varnishes. Not to mention it increases the risk of cancer. It's also what stops it from going mouldy. If bacteria don't go near it, you probably shouldn't either..

Dimethylpolysiloxane - This is a bad one! An anti-foaming agent, not that it should foam anyway!  Used in making contact lenses, shampoo (seen adverts which say it makes your hair shiny? It's this that does it)

Nice, so now we know what devilry goes into the delicious chunks of 'meat'. Actually, we shouldn't call it meat now because it makes up less than half of the nugget!


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