June 25th, 2010
03:44 PM ET

All McNuggets not created equal

All McDonald’s   nuggets are not created equal.

U.S. McNuggets not only contain more calories and fat than their British counterparts, but also chemicals not found across the Atlantic.

CNN investigated the differences after receiving a  blog comment asking about them.

American McNuggets (190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat for 4 pieces) contain the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. They also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, “an anti-foaming agent” also used in Silly Putty.

By contrast, British McNuggets (170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat for 4 pieces) lists neither chemical among its ingredients.

“I would certainly choose the British nuggets over the American” says Ruth Winter, author of  “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives.”

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."

One apparent difference is only a matter of labeling, according to McComb. U.K. McNuggets list ground celery and pepper, which are labeled simply as "spices" in the United States, she says.

Marion Nestle, a New York University professor and author of “What to Eat,” says the tertiary butylhydroquinone and dimethylpolysiloxane in the McNuggets probably pose no health risks. As a general rule, though, she advocates not eating  any food with an ingredient you can’t pronounce.

Dimethylpolysiloxane is used as a matter of safety to keep the oil from foaming, McComb says. The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty.  A review of animal studies by The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane.

TBHQ is a preservative for vegetable oils and animal fats, limited to .02 percent of the oil in the nugget. One gram (one-thirtieth of an ounce) can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse," according to “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives.”

In 2003, McDonald’s launched smaller, all-white-meat McNuggets after a federal judge dubbed the food “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook." Among the ingredients that remained in the new McNuggets: tBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane.

Christopher Kimball, the founder and publisher of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and host of the syndicated cooking show America’s Test Kitchen, says he suspects these chemicals are required for the nuggets to hold their shape and texture after being extruded into nugget-shaped molds.

“The regulations in Europe, in general, around food are much stricter than the U.S.,” Kimball says.

soundoff (1,904 Responses)
  1. RV Cabinet California

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    May 26, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tembepteriope

    what is tadalafil buy generic cialis online with mastercard tadalafil order online no prescription side effects for tadalafil https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. collision experts lemon grove

    This is the right web site for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    May 26, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv interior furniture


    May 26, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Tritreviewifind

    where to buy cialis without prescription [url=https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ ]cheap cialis pills for sale [/url] cheapest tadalafil cost side effects of tadalafil generic cialis online fast shipping

    May 26, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tritreviewifind

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ buy cialis pills where to buy cialis without prescription lowest price cialis cheap cialis pills for sale

    May 26, 2021 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. EncoxGtv

    weight loss canadian pharmacy [url=https://pharmacyhrn.com/ ]most reliable canadian pharmacy[/url] drug costs

    May 26, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tritreviewifind

    https://tadalafilol.com/ prescription tadalafil online where to buy cialis without prescription where to buy cialis without prescription tadalafil online

    May 26, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. combigan

    brimonidine tartrate 2% brimonidine tartrate 2%

    May 26, 2021 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. EncoxDev

    canadian pharmacy online adderall [url=https://cjepharmacy.com/ ]canada pharmacies online pharmacy[/url] androgel canada pharmacy

    May 26, 2021 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. avanafil

    avana 100 mg avanafil 100

    May 26, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv media center

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 26, 2021 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. toyhauler furniture


    May 26, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Fiberglass Near Me


    May 26, 2021 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Authorized Sprinter Repair Shop


    May 26, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxHtf

    canadian pharmacies for cialis [url=https://cialishav.com/ ]best time to take cialis 20mg[/url] cialis dosage sizes

    May 26, 2021 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Service A Mercedes Sprinter

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be exciting to read through articles from other authors and use a little something from other sites.


    May 26, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. brimonidine

    brimonidine dosage combigan side effects

    May 26, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 3.0 Sprinter Vacuum Pump Repair


    May 26, 2021 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV TV Los Angeles


    May 26, 2021 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. EncoxDev

    albuterol canada pharmacy [url=https://cjepharmacy.com/ ]canada drug[/url] mail order drugs from canada

    May 26, 2021 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv plumbing leak

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web site.


    May 26, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. horse trailer remodel


    May 26, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Unitmerienepeft

    side effects of tadalafil cheapest tadalafil cost where to buy cialis without prescription lowest price cialis [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]tadalafil cialis [/url]

    May 27, 2021 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rv furniture san diego


    May 27, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Local Marketing Consultant

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.


    May 27, 2021 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Soosteemocush

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ buy cialis pills cost of cialis where to get tadalafil cheap generic cialis for sale

    May 27, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Shonta Edmond

    I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…


    May 27, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Christopher Harary

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now 😉


    May 27, 2021 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    May 27, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. CrulkAsd

    buy cialis generic [url=https://cialisjla.com/ ]how can i get cialis in australia[/url] overnighted cialis for men

    May 27, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Numbers Dolgas


    May 27, 2021 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil generic buy tadalis tadalafil price walmart https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. dashboard restoration near me

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…


    May 27, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Tritreviewifind

    generic tadalafil from uk [url=https://tadalafilol.com/ ]generic cialis online fast shipping [/url] buy generic cialis online with mastercard tadalafil goodrx cialis cost

    May 27, 2021 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tausAffessy

    buy generic cialis online with mastercard tadalafil goodrx tadalafil without a doctor prescription where to buy generic cialis online safely [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]what is tadalafil [/url]

    May 27, 2021 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Soosteemocush

    https://tadalafilol.com/ cialis tadalafil generic tadalafil from uk tadalafil cost walmart side effects for tadalafil

    May 27, 2021 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Unitmerienepeft

    generic tadalafil from uk [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]lowest price cialis [/url] cheap generic cialis for sale tadalafil order online no prescription https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Unitmerienepeft

    lowest price cialis cost of cialis canada generic tadalafil tadalafil cost in canada [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]cheapest tadalafil cost [/url]

    May 27, 2021 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. rv rentals orange county ca

    This is the perfect site for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    May 27, 2021 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Bathroom Riverside

    Good post. I definitely appreciate this website. Keep it up!


    May 27, 2021 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. camper service near me


    May 27, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. EncoxGtv

    canadian pharmacies that ship to usa [url=https://pharmacyhrn.com/ ]abc online pharmacy in canada[/url] pharmacy technician courses online

    May 28, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. generic tadalafil 40 mg

    tadalafil softsules tuf 20 https://tadalisxs.com/ centurion laboratories tadalafil

    May 28, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv upholstery repair

    Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 28, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Cristopher Pham

    I couldn't resist commenting 🙂


    May 28, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. trailer repairs near me


    May 28, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV TV California


    May 28, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Windshield Orange County


    May 28, 2021 at 04:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Internet Marketing Consultants

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 28, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Leave a Reply to IgnoranceIsBliss


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.