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Jan 27, 2015

How McDonald's Fries are Made Plus What's in Them and Why

McDonald's recently put out a video where former Mythbuster co-host Grant Imahara gets a look at how McDonald's fries are made, complete from farm to processing plant to each restaurant (but they show it in reverse i.e. starting with the restaurant and ending up at the farm).

In case you've always wanted a behind-the-scenes look, here's how it goes:


But they also made a video where Grant lists the ingredients used to make McDonald's French fries and why they're used:


For your convenience, here's what's in McDonald's Fries (and why):

- Potatoes
- Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives i.e. Hydrolized Wheat and Milk]*, Citric Acid [Preservative])
- Dextrose (a type of sugar; helps maintain golden color)
- Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (helps keep potatoes from going grey)
- Salt (added after cooking)
- Prepared in Vegetable Oil: Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness of oil blend. Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an anti-foaming agent (keeps oil from splattering).

While the video points to 19 ingredients, some of them are repeated since the fries are partially cooked before sent out to each restaurant.

Of course, if you live over in the UK, McDonald's fries only contain 3 or 4 ingredients:

- Potatoes
- Vegetable Oil (Sunflower Oil, Rapeseed AKA Canola Oil)
- Dextrose (only added at beginning of the potato season)
- Salt

For comparison's sake, here's what's in Wendy's Natural-Cut Fries (it's not all that different):

- Potatoes
- Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn),
- Dextrose,
- Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (to maintain natural color).
- Cooked in Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor [vegetable], citric acid [preservative], dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]).
- Seasoned with Sea Salt.


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