McDonald’s Transparency Campaign Revealed 17 Ingredients in Their French Fries


What started last year as a transparent campaign by McDonald’s to market a more health conscious image of the McDonald’s Corp and an attempt at using social media in a more effective manner has instead become a forum for people to discuss how gross they believe the food is. This was not what McDonald’s had in mind. They had intended for people to talk about their love for McDonald’s, but this was not the results. In fact, this forum resulted in the ingredients in their french fries going viral. Consumers were shocked to find out that instead of two basic ingredient, potatoes and oil, McDonald’s fries contained 17 different ingredients.

The campaign isn’t new. Last June, a consumer posted a YouTube video questioning why McDonald’s food looked completely different in the restaurant than in commercials. In response, McDonald’s promoted a new campaign, “Our Food, Your Questions” meant to open McDonald’s doors and lead people to believe the brand is more innocent. Customers were encouraged to ask questions via Facebook or Twitter. McDonald’s intended to gain trust and credibility in a marketplace where they have been plagued by bad press in the form of unappetizing images and viral videos.

Over time, McDonald’s began to reveal the secret behind how their french fries are made. A video was produced answering questions about the fries including where the potatoes come from, how they are processed, what oils they are fried in, and why they have so much salt on them.

A production manager at McCain Foods in New Brunswick, Mario Dupuis, discussed where the potatoes were washed, peeled, and cut. Additionally, he disclosed that they are blanched to “remove natural sugars” that could result in variations in color. Then, they are soaked in dextrose to achieve an even color. Also, there is an ingredient added to prevent graying, as well as drying to remove extra moisture and a quick-fry for 45-60 seconds prior to being frozen for shipping.

However, the worst part are the ingredients. As opposed to the traditional two ingredients needed to make french fries, potato and oil, they are approximately 17. This is reported on the McDonald’s corporate website.

They include potatoes, canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavor (vegetable source), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (anti-foaming agent) and cooked in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with THBQ, citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane) and salt (silicoaluminate, dextrose, potassium iodide) .

Simply glancing at the ingredients listed above, it is obvious that some of these ingredients can be hazardous to humans, including those that are genetically modified (canola, corn, and soybean oil), hydrogenated (soybean oil), preserved using chemicals and anti-foaming (THBQ, citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane), and artificially colored (sodium acid pyrophosphate).

Do you truly believe that most people were aware that McDonald’s french fries contained this many ingredients? Hey, McDonald’s, thanks for the transparency. Perhaps it will wake more people up to the difference between your artificial food and real food.


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