25 Ingredients in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets

Have you ever wondered what’s in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets?  You might be surprised to learn that they contain a whopping 25 ingredients…and that’s assuming you don’t use any dipping sauces!  According to the ingredients list from McDonald’s own website, here is what they contain:

-Chicken breast—At least they’re made with chicken.  To be honest, I was wondering about that.

-Water—Not much to say about that one.

-Modified corn starch—Corn starch is almost always genetically-modified.  But that’s not what the “modified” in “modified corn starch” refers to.  It usually refers to chemically- or enzymatically-treated corn starch, which can leave chemical residues behind. Additionally, it often contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), which I’ll discuss further in a minute.

-Salt—That’s fairly straightforward.

-”Seasoning”—Seasoning contains yeast extract (that almost always contains the neurotoxin MSG which has been linked to a whole host of diseases.  Read the excellent book Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills by Russell L. Blaylock, a neurosurgeon and MSG researcher, to learn more about the health problems linked to MSG), more salt, wheat starch (a processed food that contains just the starchy part of the wheat, “natural flavor” (more likelihood of toxic MSG), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, and rosemary.

-Safflower oil—Believed to be a healthier cooking oil, most safflower is unfortunately heated to high temperatures long before it is ever used for cooking, causing it to be chemically-altered from the heat, and a source of inflammation in the body when that is the case.

-Dextrose—a type of sugar.

-Citric acid—used as a preservative.

-”Natural extractives of rosemary”—this could be any number of ingredients found within rosemary, the health of which is determined largely by the process of extraction and whether any chemicals are used in this process.

-Breaded with:  water, wheat flower, yellow corn flower, modified corn starch, spices, salt, baking powder, sodium aluminum phosphate, dextrose, wheat starch, corn starch, modified hydrogenated soybean oil

Yellow corn flower and modified corn starch—both of these ingredients are derived from corn which is now almost 100% genetically-modified (GM).  GM foods have been linked to sterility, allergies, infant mortality, organ defects, and childhood diseases.  Check out my article Top 20 Frankenfoods to Avoid for more information.

-”Spices”—This could be any number of ingredients.  It often used by the food industry to disguise MSG.

Keep reading.  The worst is yet to come…-Baking powder and sodium aluminum phosphate—Both ingredients contain aluminum, a metal that University of Toronto researchers linked to Alzheimer’s disease incidence. Sodium aluminum phosphate is a food additive that is used for leavening.

-Cooked in vegetable oil (a blend of canola, corn, soybean, and hydrogenated soybean oils) with added TBHQ, citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane.

-Modified hydrogenated soybean oil—This oil has been chemically-altered to be more “stable” but has been linked to heart disease.

-Vegetable oil for frying, which is a blend of 7 ingredients, including:  canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), citric acid, and dimethylpolysiloxane.

-Canola, corn and soybean oils are derived from three of the most widely genetically-modified crops on the planet.  These oils are typically heated to high temperatures during extraction and manufacturing, causing the oils to be inflammatory and harmful to the body.

-TBHQ is a petroleum-based, butane-like (yes, that’s lighter fluid!) ingredient used as a preservative.  It has been linked to asthma, skin conditions, hormone disruption, and in long-term animal studies to cancer and damage to DNA.  It is disturbing to me that this ingredient is allowed in food.

-Dimethylpolysiloxane– used as an anti-foaming agent, this industrial chemical is typically used in caulking and sealants and comes with a list of safety concerns.  It’s best reserved for industrial sealants than for food.

McDonald’s can keep its industrial chemicals, toxic oils, and genetically-modified ingredients. I think I’ll pass on the nuggets. Be sure to check out my article Shocking Ingredients in McDonald’s French Fries.

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Rosslyn O.
Rosslyn O.2 months ago

Michelle, wheat and corn ground up makes flour. Not a flower that grows in the garden. Not all Baking Powders contain Aluminium (Mc Kenzies is 'clean') MSG for many companies is a product that is not to be used due to the health risks, especially asthmatics, and could liable for suing, if found in their products. (Oh, I'm not discounting it isn't there though). Canola Oil was the 'ants pants' of oils everybody around the world was encouraged to use in their homes, until very very recently.... I am in no way condoning the list of 'ingredients' that this company chooses to use, and nor do I ever consume their food. But I feel you are just targeting and adding far to many "may be' or 'could be' in this article. We all know that fast foods are bad for us, so many on this site choose not to partake of them, but please do a little more research, to be sure if the types of flours or oils are genuinely of the 'toxic' types before assuming. I enjoy your articles for the most part, so don't spoil it. Thanks.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers2 months ago

YUK! Thank you for sharing.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 months ago

Thank you

Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer2 months ago

Hmmmmm. Thanks.

Ruth S.
Ruth S.2 months ago

WOW! Good think I don't eat chicken nuggets!! Thanks.

sandy Gardner
sandy Gardner2 months ago


Marianne R.
Marianne R.2 months ago

Thank you

Jennifer F.
Jennifer F.2 months ago

Not surprising at all.....I don't eat at McDonald's OR any fast food place.

Elaine W.
Past Member 2 months ago

Didn't they advertize recently that their chicken nuggets recipe had been improved? Hope so but I don't eat there.