Chicken McNuggets Experiment: Rot or Not?

November 11, 2010   11 Comments

Snack Girl readers have spoken and they have said, "Lisa, can you see if McNuggets rot?". So, here we go!

Chicken McNuggets: Rot or Not

SEE THE RESULTS HERE: McNugget Rot Results Are In!

I have chosen 3 items for the latest Snack Girl "experiment".

1. KFC Original Chicken
2. McDonald's Chicken McNugget
3. Bell and Evan's Chicken Breast Nuggets

(They are photographed in that order from left to right). I have placed all three in separated plastic bags and they will sit at room temperature. In a week, I will assess if there has been any decomposition.

In September, I tested KFC fried chicken - see results here: Fast Food Fried Chicken Experiment: The Results Are In!

The chicken rotted and my theory is that the fried chicken is closer to REAL food than other fast food.

Since that experiment, I have been asked about McNuggets and I thought it would be interesting to see if the more processed form of chicken decomposed at the same rate as a whole piece of chicken.

This is the question I am attempting to answer:

Are McDonald's Chicken McNuggets like fried chicken or are they something else?

I added Bell and Evan's Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets because so many people have told me that they are great. They are (supposedly) a healthy alternative to the fast food chicken nugget. The package boasts a anti-junk badge and the ingredients are simple:

Chicken breast meat, water, salt. Breaded with unbleached white flour, water, salt, sugar, dried yeast, spices, paprika

On the other hand a McDonald's Chicken McNugget boasts this list:

Chicken, water, salt, sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with: bleached wheat flour, water, wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose, yeast, garlic powder, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono -and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

I LOVE having Dimethylpolysiloxane added to my food. It reminds me of spring time :)

Actually, dimethylpolysiloxane is an important component of Silly Putty. Funny, because I ate the other 3 McD's chicken nuggets for lunch and they tasted like Silly Putty.

I also tasted one of the Bell and Evan's nuggets. It tasted pretty good (much better than McD's). Of course the B&E cost $7 for a package, which turned out to be 50 cents per nugget. Four McNuggets cost $1.25 and four of B&E will cost you $2.00. Frankly, I think the extra 75 cents is worth it because they taste much better.

The control is the KFC chicken because it took no time to rot in the last experiment.

What do you think will happen in the McNugget Experiment?

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My guess is that the mcnuggets, like burger, will remain untarnished forever! I watched the movie where the guy eats 3 mcmeals a day(can't remember the name). In the movie they showed how mcnuggets were made. Not nice!

Love it! the ingredient list is ridiculous for the mcdonalds nuggets. How they even try to pass them as the healthy alternative is beyond me! As for the bell and evans, I feed them to my daughter and she loves them. When I try to make them from scratch it never works so I think they are a healthy alternative and worth the extra money!

Oooh ~ can't wait to see the results...that McD's ingredient list is horrific.

I think it has something to do with the bone in...have you tried boneless? :)

Thanks for your continued great experiments! Here's a wonderful resource from Mercola on what's truly in a Chicken McNugget:

Buyer (and consumer) beware!

Sue Ingebretson

I'm scared to ask, but must. Why would chicken need an antiFOAMing agent? scary

The McNugget will not rot. I cleaned out the car the other day and there was a lonely nugget under my daughter's carseat. The last time we ate at McDonalds was in July during a road trip. The nugget was dry and hard, but looked like I just bought it.

Fast food is not good and good food is not fast!

How about ertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) - just five grams can kill you, but I guess a little dash in a nugget won’t hurt anyone…

I bet none of them will rot within a month!

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