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Did you Know That McDonald’s Fries Have 19 Ingredients?

Isn’t it astonishing? When you examine the ingredients in a North American McDonald’s French fry, you’ll discover a total of 19 ingredients! However, the situation is quite different in Europe, where you’ll find only four ingredients, provided you include oil, salt, and dextrose in the count.

It’s truly remarkable to compare the composition of McDonald’s French fries on opposite sides of the Atlantic. In North America, these iconic golden strips of goodness contain a surprising dozen ingredients or more, while over in Europe, the simplicity of just four ingredients prevails, with oil, salt, and dextrose making up the list.

A closer inspection of this discrepancy can provide insight into the variations in food processing and regulations between the two continents. The contrast highlights the diverse approaches taken to creating a seemingly identical product. So, the next time you savor those crispy fries, you might find yourself pondering the intriguing differences that lie beneath their familiar appearance.

The 19 ingredients are as follows:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Canola oil
  3. Soybean oil
  4. Hydrogenated soybean oil
  5. Natural beef flavor
  6. Hydrolyzed wheat
  7. Hydrolyzed milk
  8. Citric acid
  9. Dimethylpolysiloxane*
  10. Dextrose
  11. Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  12. Salt
  13. Canola oil
  14. Corn oil
  15. Soybean oil
  16. Hydrogenated soybean oil
  17. TBHQ
  18. Citric acid
  19. Dimethylpolysiloxane

Technically, there are only 14 distinct ingredients; a few appear twice in the list because they are utilized in two separate phases of the manufacturing process.

*Dimethylpolysiloxane is a commonly used anti-foaming agent that’s also an ingredient used to make Silly Putty.