Cargill plant dispels 'pink goop' myth behind McDonald's McNuggets

Publish date:

That – above, the silly-putty-looking pink goop – is what has been rumored to be the main ingredient in McDonald's Chicken McNuggets.

Now National Public Radio reports McDonald's Canada responded to the widely-circulated "goop" photo by taking a film crew to Cargill's Ontario plant to reveal what really goes into the crispy nuggets.

"It's an image that often gets associated with McDonald's," Nicoletta Stefou, supply chain manager at McDonald's Canada, says in the YouTube video aimed at dispelling the pink goop myth."We don't know what it is or where it came from, but it has nothing to do with our chicken McNuggets."

The video shows that the chicken nugget-making process begins with, well, chicken.

"The process starts with whole chickens," Jennifer Rabideau, product development scientist for Cargill Canada, explains. "We separate all of the chicken parts and set aside the chicken breast meat for chicken McNuggets."

From there, the chicken breasts are ground up and combined with seasoning and chicken skin. The mixture is formed into four nugget shapes – the bell, the ball, the bow tie and the boot (who knew?) – and battered twice. The nuggets are then frozen and packaged for shipping to McDonald's restaurants across Canada.

Although still not a particularly attractive process, the video puts some truth to McDonald's claim that their chicken McNuggets contain real chicken meat.

A small study of two fast-food chain chicken nuggets published in The American Journal of Medicine last year found that the nuggets were only about 50 percent meat – at best.

Cargill is an international company based in Wayzata, Minnesota.

Next Up


Cargill to open $250 million chicken broiler in China

Wayzata-based Cargill Inc. says the company plans to operate one the largest poultry broiler production facilities in China next year. The facility currently under construction will raise 65 million birds a year. Cargill invested $250 million into the plant. China's poultry industry is rapidly expanding with annual growth at 5 to 6 percent.