Shocking Ingredients in McDonald’s French Fries

It would be fair to assume that there are three ingredients in McDonald’s French fries:  potatoes, oil, and salt.  But if you assumed that you’d be far from correct.

Starting last year McDonald’s began a transparency campaign most likely to create a more health- and consumer-conscious image of the corporation.  As a result the company has made their ingredient lists and processing techniques available on their website. Out of curiosity, I had to know exactly what is in those fries.

It turns out that there are 17 ingredients in MickeyD’s French fries!  They contain:

-Potatoes (whew! I’m glad that was the first ingredient)

-Canola oil—Most canola oil is now genetically-modified.

-Hydrogenated soybean oil—Like canola oil, most soybean oil is now extracted from genetically-modified soybeans. Plus the hydrogenation process makes the oil more saturated than it would be in its natural form, and unhealthy.

-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.

-”Natural flavor”—McDonald’s natural flavor is apparently obtained from a vegetable source, but the “natural” moniker means nothing since it can even potentially contain the nerve- and brain-toxin monosodium glutamate (MSG).

-Dextrose—a type of sugar.

-Sodium acid pyrophosphate—This ingredient is apparently used to maintain the color of the fries.  On the chemical industry’s own safety data sheets it is listed as hazardous for ingestion, which is exactly what you’ll be doing if you eat those French fries.

-Citric acid—used as a preservative.

-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.

-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.  We discussed most of these ingredients above.  Corn oil, like its canola and soybean counterparts is now primarily made of genetically-modified corn.

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.

Contrary to what McDonald’s may claim in its slogan, I’m NOT lovin’ it!

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Antony M.
Antony M.1 months ago


Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer9 months ago


Carole R.
Carole R.11 months ago

Homemade fries are the best.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.about a year ago

Yucky. I love french fries but not from a fast food chain, thank you. The best: thick potatoes served with original fish & chips made in UK! Bar none.

Debbie Phillips
Debbie Phillipsabout a year ago

I try not to do the fast food thing. It's all pretty scary, not just the fries.

Past Member about a year ago

Well, no wonder they made my daughter sick to her stomach.

Maggie Welch
Maggie D.about a year ago

Well, I'm a vegetarian but when I wasn't I wouldn't eat fast food if you paid me.

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.about a year ago

It is very simple:
McDonalds is NOT your friend!

Amy L.
Amy L.about a year ago

I like to make my own. I like to take either red potatoes or sweet potatoes and cut them up in chunks, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and roast in the oven on 375F for about 25 minutes and their so yummy!

Past Member about a year ago

My daughter could never eat those, I learned quickly. They made her sick to her stomach... literally.
When she was very young, my mother-in-law thought I was "terrible" for "depriving" her of McDonald's. She took my daughter out one day, and took her to McDonald's, over my repeated warnings not to do so as she would be ill. This, to her, was her "chance" to give my daughter something her mother didn't give her. When they arrived back at my home, my mother-in-law was upset that my daughter had been "sick" in her car, repeatedly. The car smelled appropriately.
Taking care of my daughter, I looked right at my mother-in-law, who was complaining, and said, "Did you feed her McDonald's french fries, after I told her not to do so because they make her ill?" "It was only one little pack of fries. You NEVER offer any to her. You never take her there. Other kids go to McDonald's. I thought it was mean." "Why would I deliberately deprive and be mean to my daughter? Does that sound like me? Has she ever asked to go there, or was it all your idea?" "Other kids go to McDonald's. I thought it was mean, you never taking her there." "Why would I be mean to my daughter? So now she is ill and you have vomit all over your car." "Who's going to clean my car?" "Don't look to me."
Some people learn slowly. Some don't seem to learn at all.