Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

AP/Press Association Images
golden nuggets

McDonald's is taking some of the mystery ingredients out of McNuggets

The world’s biggest hamburger chain says it is testing a version without artificial preservatives.

CHICKEN MCNUGGETS ARE practically a culinary punchline, a symbol of hyper-processed fast food with a list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry exam.

But now McDonald’s wants to take at least some of the mystery substances out.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain says it is testing a version without artificial preservatives.

It’s the latest move by McDonald’s to try to catch up with changing tastes and turn around its business, which has lost customers in recent years.

The new McNugget recipe is “simpler,” and “parents can feel good” about it, the fast-food company said.

While McDonald’s did not give full details about what is or isn’t in the test recipe, it said the new McNuggets do not have sodium phosphates, widely used food additives that the company has said can keep chicken moist. Also, the McNuggets will not be fried in oil containing the artificial preservative TBHQ.

Chicken McNuggets have become an often-mocked symbol of heavily processed fast food since they were introduced in the 1980s. The breaded and fried nuggets are made of ground-up chicken rather than intact chunks of meat and are delivered to stores frozen.

The company said it began testing the new recipe in about 140 stores in the US states of Oregon and Washington in March.

As people pay closer attention to food labels, companies across the food and drink industry have adjusted recipes to remove ingredients that may sound unappetising.

Last year, for instance, McDonald’s changed its grilled chicken recipe to replace sodium phosphates with vegetable starch and to remove maltodextrin, which was used to increase browning.

The McNugget test reflects the sensitivities of parents of young children in particular. McDonald’s has long targeted families, with its Happy Meals and Ronald McDonald mascot.

McDonald’s said it is getting feedback from customers with the McNugget test, and did not say when it might launch the new recipe nationally.

Last week, McDonald’s said sales rose 5.4% at established US locations during the first three months of the year. The results were boosted at least in part by higher prices and the closing of underperforming stores.

Read: McDonald’s hires bouncers after anti-social behaviour from schoolchildren

Read: Burger King is better than McDonald’s and we should all just accept it

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Author
Associated Foreign Press
Your Voice
Readers Comments
43
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.