The amount of ingredients in a McDonald’s chicken nugget = shocking

When it comes to fast food, we understand it’s not the most amazing stuff to be putting into our bodies. It’s known to contain preservatives and it’s fatty and has little nutritional value —and these are all things we need to take in account if we decide to treat ourselves to a cheeseburger and fries. But as far as the exact (to the last detail) ingredients go? It’s kind of a mystery. Until now.

Dwight Eschliman and photographer Steve Ettlinger have a new book out called Ingredients that investigates exactly what goes into food. And what we’ve discovered goes into the Chicken McNugget especially has stunned us.

The pair don’t just tell you what’s in the food, but teamed up to visualize it. This photo, from the book, is what makes up a McNugget.

  • The list of ingredients, including batter, seasonings and what the McNugget is fried in includes (via Cosmo UK):
  • ​1. White boneless chicken
  • 2. Water
  • 3. Food starch-modified
  • 4. Salt
  • 5. Autolyzed yeast
  • 6. Salt
  • 7. Wheat starch
  • 8. Natural flavour (botanical source)
  • 9. Safflower oil
  • 10. Dextrose
  • 11. Citric acid
  • 12. Sodium phosphates
  • 13. Natural flavour (botanical source)
  • 14. Water
  • 15. Bleached wheat flour
  • 16. Niacin
  • 17. Reduced iron
  • 18. Thiamine mononitrate
  • 19. Riboflavin
  • 20. Folic acid
  • 21. Yellow corn flour
  • 22. Bleached wheat flour
  • 23. Food starch-modified
  • 24. Salt
  • 25. Baking soda
  • 26. Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  • 27. Sodium aluminum phosphate
  • 28. Monocalcium phosphate
  • 29. Calcium lactate
  • 30. Spices
  • 31. Wheat starch
  • 32. Dextrose
  • 33. Corn starch
  • 34. Canola oil
  • 35. Corn oil
  • 36. Soybean oil
  • 37. Hydrogenated soybean oil
  • 38.with TBHQ
  • 39. and Citric Acid to preserve freshness of the oil
  • 40. and Dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce oil splatter when cooking​

Ingredients, which also explains what exactly all of those things are (sure, you’ve got water down but what exactly is niacin?), also decodes what goes in to Cool Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips, Hostess Twinkies, Red Bull Energy Drink and Ocean Spray Cran-Grape Juice Drink, among others. We’re guessing the news is not great on many of them.

Yikes. Do we dare read? The book actually came out September 29th, so if you’re into exploring what goes into fast food and snacks, you can purchase it here. 

(Images via Simon & Schuster, McDonalds)