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Why McDonald's chicken mcnuggets come in only four shapes

Mcdonalds chicken mcnuggetsKim Bhasin / Business Insider

McDonald’s Canada recently released a video showing us how Chicken McNuggets are made.

In the video, we learned that the nuggets come in four distinct shapes: The bell, the ball, the boot and the bow tie (also called the bone).

We went digging for the reasoning behind the shapes and here’s what we found out.

The shapes are all the same width and they are “pressed out with a rolling cookie cutter,” according to McDonald’s Canada.

Here’s a picture of the nuggets after they have been formed. The bottom row is the bow tie, followed by a row of boots, then balls, and the bells:

Chicken McNuggetsMcDonald’s Canada

The reason why they are all a standard shape and size is to ensure consistent cooking times for food safety in all McDonald’s restaurants, the company wrote on itsQ&A page.

But the varying shapes are also geared toward kids.

“Our Chicken McNuggets are shaped uniquely for kids and kids at heart — it makes dipping more fun!” the company wrote.

So why just four shapes?

According to the company, “three would’ve been too few. Five would’ve been, like, wacky.”

After the nuggets are shaped, they are smothered in a two layers of batter and then sent to the fryers, where they are partially cooked.

They come out of the fryer looking like this:

Chicken McNuggetsMcDonald’s Canada

Finally, the nuggets are frozen and packaged for shipping to McDonald’s restaurants, where they should be fully cooked through for consumption.

We reached out to McDonald’s for more information on the origin of their McNugget shapes and we’re waiting to hear back.

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