Report finds U.S. McNuggets contain more calories, chemicals than in UK

July 5, 2010

The difference in ingredients in McDonald’s McNuggets by market is creating a media stir as well as an investigation in at least one country. In the United States, a recent CNN investigative report found that the calorie and chemical content of the menu item vary widely in different markets, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom.

McNuggets made in U.S. stores are higher in fat and calories and contain the chemicals tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product, and dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent used in cosmetics and even Silly Putty.

From the story:

McDonald's says the differences are based on the local tastes: In the United States, McNuggets are coated and then cooked, in the United Kingdom, they are cooked and then coated. As a result, the British McNuggets absorb less oil and have less fat.

"You would find that if you looked at any of our core food items. You'd see little, regional differences," says Lisa McComb, who handles global media relations for McDonald's, which has more than 32,000 restaurants in 117 countries. "We do taste testing of all our food items on an ongoing basis."

McDonald's China assures additives are safe

McNuggets served in China contain the same chemicals. McDonald's China has assured consumers there that the additives are harmless after reports suggested the ingredients may pose health risks, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

From the story:

The use of tertiary butylhydroquinone in the fast-food chain's fried chicken pieces meets Chinese food safety standards, McDonald's unit in the nation said in an e-mailed statement. "The chemical is toxic to some extent," the China Daily newspaper quoted Liu Qingchun, a nutritionist at the General Hospital of Armed Police Forces, as saying today. Liu said China's standards allow its use.

Topics: Burger/Steak/BBQ , Food & Beverage , Health & Nutrition , International

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