How McDonald's chicken nuggets are made

McDonald’s is testing a new recipe for its chicken McNuggets.
The recipe strips the nuggets of artificial preservatives and contains more recognisable ingredients like lemon juice solids and rice starch.

The chain is changing the nuggets so “parents can feel good” about feeding them to their kids, McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary said.

“More than ever, customers care about where their food comes from and how it is prepared,” she said.

The recipe may be changing, but the preparation and cooking process for the nuggets will stay the same.

McDonald’s Canada made a video depicting this process from inside a Cargill factory that makes and freezes the nuggets before sending them to McDonald’s restaurants for consumption.

Here’s how the nuggets are made, according to the video.

Here's a photo of so-called 'pink goop' that often gets associated with McNuggets. 'We don't know what it is or where it came from, but it has nothing to do with our Chicken McNuggets,' says Nicoletta Stefou, the supply chain manager at McDonald's Canada.

The process of making McNuggets starts in the 'deboning department' with whole chickens.

'First, we separate all of the chicken cuts and set aside the chicken breast meat for the Chicken McNuggets,' says Jen Rabideau, a product development scientist for Cargill Limited.

Workers trim the chicken breasts of fat and send them along an assembly line.

The chicken breasts that have been separated are collected into this bin.

The cart of chicken breast meat travels across the factory to the 'blending room.'

McDonald's Canada

Here, the chicken is pushed into the 'blending room,' which is essentially a giant chamber that will transport it to the blender.

McDonald's Canada

Inside the blending room, the cart of chicken breasts is lifted off the ground.

McDonald's Canada

The meat is then dumped into the grinder.

McDonald's Canada

The mashed-up meat pours out of the grinder and straight into the blender.

McDonald's Canada

Inside the blender, the ground chicken meat is mixed with some seasonings and chicken skin for flavoring.

McDonald's Canada

The meat is removed from the blender and Stefou points out that there's no pink goop to be found.

McDonald's Canada

But they aren't McNuggets yet, so let's check out how the rest of the process works.

In the 'forming room,' the blended chicken meat is portioned into the four chicken McNugget shapes: The ball, the bell, the boot, and the bow tie.

Then the nuggets travel down the assembly line to be covered in a light batter, which is shown in the center of this photo.

After being dipped in the light batter, they are covered in a second, thicker batter called tempura.

The chicken nuggets come out on the other side looking a bit like sugar cookies before they are sent into a fryer.

The nuggets come out of the fryer looking ready to eat, but they have only been partially cooked.

Breaking a fried nugget in half, you can see it's a bit raw inside. The nuggets will now be frozen and sent to McDonald's restaurants, where they will be fully cooked.

The frozen nuggets are bagged, boxed, and prepared for shipping.

This is how the nuggets look when they arrive at a McDonald's restaurant.

Finally, the boxes are marked for shipping and the process of making Chicken McNuggets is completed.

Check out the full video below.

Now that you've seen how Chicken McNuggets are made...

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