What are McDonald's fries made of? Many people love them, but not everyone believes they are made from actual potatoes, so Grant Imahara decided it was time to find out the truth. Instead of starting from the beginning, he's decided to approach this from an engineers perspective by deconstructing this process and going from the finished fry to where it all begins.
Back in October of 2014, McDonald's first introduced its Q&A campaign that encouraged people to ask the questions they've always been wondering about the food they are getting from the fast food restaurant. They brought on former Mythbusters host Grant Imahara to lead the way in answering the consumers questions. According to Reuters, In their fourth-quarter of 2014, they saw a 21% drop in net income and revenue fell more than 7%. Also, sales in Asian fell when it was discovered that they were selling tainted, expired meat and were using meat that had fallen on the floor. And this was just some of the issues that arose last year. With this new campaign, they hope to draw back in the consumers that were scared away.
Along with the videos they have posted on YouTube, McDonald's has also added an "Our Food. Your Questions." page on their website where they try to add more transparency to what they are serving. Among the many things they cover, they list the ingredients that go into their french fries and why:
- potatoes: Shepody, Ranger Russet, Umatilla Russet and Russet Burbank
- dextrose: to give the fries their color
- sodium acid pyrophosphate: prevent potatoes from graying after being cut
- they are partially fried in an oil blend (canola, soybean and hydrogenated soybean oil): maintain texture
- natural beef flavor (including hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk): added to the par fry oil for taste
- citric acid: preserve freshness of the oil
- dimethylpolysiloxane: reduce foaming and oil splattering
Then the fries move to the restaurant where they are grid in an oil blend that includes: canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, as well as citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane and TBHQ (an antioxidant that helps keep the oil fresh). After being topped off with salt they are ready to eat.
What do you think of McDonald's new initiative to bring more of what they do to light? Does it change your decision to eat, or not eat, at McDonald's? Share your thoughts in the comments below.