Have you ever wondered what, exactly, is in a McDonald's chicken McNugget? Let’s give it a shot:
- Chicken (one hopes)
- Some kind of flour/breading mixture
- Oil for deep-frying
- *Mystery Flavoring Agents*
It turns out, there are 32 ingredients per McDonald's nugget, according to its website's nutritional data, and many of those components (Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, and Thiamin Mononitrate, for example) are most certainly not chicken.
But that may not be the case for long.
According to Quartz, McDonald’s has been testing out a “simpler recipe” for a new McNugget since early March 2016. The new nugget will reportedly be free of artificial preservatives, making the revamped recipe one “parents can feel good about while keeping the same great taste they know and love,” said Becca Hary, a McDonald’s spokeswoman. “More than ever customers care about where their food comes from and how it is prepared.”
It is no secret that McDonald’s is often mocked for certain perceived questionable qualities of its food; in fact, the company is so used to being the target of skepticism and consumer-ridicule, it even has several questions listed on its website’s FAQ section addressing some of the recurring (and largely disturbing) rumors associated with eating at the chain (check out what we had to say about why their food never appears to rot here).
The decision, therefore, to make a move toward more natural products is probably a smart idea on behalf of the company, even just to help debunk some of the more damaging rumors pertaining to its food once and for all.
The new McNugget is currently being tested out at 140 locations in Oregon and Washington. Crain's Chicago reports that various sources confirmed that the company is harboring hopes to present their revamped nugget in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Hary, however, declined to confirm that the product is slated for a summer-2016 release (“This is very much a test,” she claims), but she did report that customers in the Pacific Northwest have thus far “responded favorably” to the new and cleaner McNugget.
In the end, McDonald’s is a corporation, and McNugget-devotees need not worry; it’s highly doubtful that the shift toward more natural, clean food will compromise the staple McDonald’s dining experience. After all, taste and convenience are the two components that helped establish the two golden arches as one of the most famous symbols in the fast-food world. Any move toward health only makes the chain stronger.