McDonald’s French fries are a little like Pringles, which used to use the famous, “Once you stop, you can’t stop” phrase in its adverts.
How does McDonald’s create such a moreish mouthful? It’s a lesser-known ingredient. It comes from milk, bizarrely. Not for vegans.
McDonald’s adds to its fries something called ‘natural beef flavour’. On the company website, the additive is listed as containing “hydrolysed wheat and hydrolysed milk as starting ingredients.”
This means that wheat and milk proteins are broken down during the hydrolysation process (adding water). The result, apparently, is a meaty, umami flavour in the fries.
Despite this chemical wizardry, the fast food chain does still use whole potatoes. It peels and cuts them before partially frying and distributing out to branches, where they’re fried again. Twice cooked!
“Once the potatoes are cut, we push the strips to a blancher to remove the natural sugars from the strips,” says Mario Dupuis, the production manager for McCain, which supplies fries for McDonald’s diners in Canada.
“Following the blanching process we add a dextrose solution to have that nice even coat that we see in the restaurants. We also add an ingredient to our strips to make sure that we prevent the graying of our product throughout the process.”
Other ingredients in McDonald’s fries include sodium acid pyrophosphate, used to maintain the colour, hydrogenated soybean oil, why, we’re not sure, and salt. Well of course.
Fancy something different?
Asda has a range of spectacular looking chips,made from Purple Majesty potatoes, which have 100 per cent naturally occurring purple pigment.
The colour survives the cooking process, which leads to something really different to serve alongside your summer BBQ burgers, steaks and battered fish. What’s more, they’re creamy, fluffy, and have a really crispy outer shell.
The chips are cut from Purple Majesty potatoes grown in Norfolk and Lincolnshire. Asda says that Purple Majesty potatoes are packed with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and aubergines their distinctive colour.