The unknown ingredients: exposed!The problem, unfortunately with having large amounts of food that are grown, processed and prepared in different places, is that there are certain chemicals added to the ingredients of these products that make us question the quality of the food.
Fortunately, the McDonald's corporation is very helpful in that they list everything that is added to their foods, even the things mere humans can't possibley know..
For example Mcdonald's french fries contain the following unknown chemicals:
TBHQ (a form of butane):
This compound has gotten a particularly bad rep because of the fact is is derived from butane (a combustion fuel), but for those who know a bit of chemistry, once you change a compound, it changes all aspects and properties- like the fact that you cannot light this molecule on fire.
This compound is used as a preservative for chicken nuggets, french fries and all sorts of other foods in the processed food world. It has potentially harmful side effects (nausea, vomiting, collapse) when taken in high doses ( up to 5 grams) but the FDA had posed strict limits on the concentration of TBHQ in foods, like for example, the maximum amount that can be in one nugget is .02%, therefore you must consume 5kg of nuggets in one digestion to get 1 gram of TBHQ (which is about 312.5 nuggets!!). In other words, to even become potentially harmful to ones' health, you'd have to REALLY like chicken nuggets (or french fries).
For more information about TBHQ, or to see where these numbers/facts came from, check out this.
Dimethylpolysiloxane (used as an anti-foaming agent):This compoud, as stated above is used as a antifoaming agent in french fry oil to prevent the oils from degrading due to the high temperatures. This compound accomplishes this by forming a layer over the oil to prevent it from making contact with the air and oxidizing. Cool huh?
Therefore this chemical is not actually found in the french fries, but McDonalds lists it in the ingredients to make up for error.
If you want to read more about the properties of this compound check out this article !
AND for the Sodas:
Dimethylpolysiloxane are also found in some sodas (see description above)!!
The only problem with this substance is that it doesnt necesarily satisfy cravings for sweetness, despite the taste. This may lead to other consumption of sweets to satisfy the craving which cancels out the diet part of the soda! Also, this substance destablizes under low pH's, therefore all diet sodas have about a month expiration date due to sodas lower pH.
So word to the wise, be sure to check your expiration dates on your sodas, ESPECIALLY diet!
For more on Aspartame check out the site I used here!
Sodium benzoate:Sodium benzoate is a sodium salt used in many processed foods as a preservative. It is found most frequently in sodas, vinegar, fruit juices and wine. The FDA states its is not harmful by itself, but paried with ascorbic acid in high levels, it is a suspected carcinogen.
Most people can taste this compound as salty and slightly sour, which give most soft drinks their "edge"
For more on Sodium benzoate check out this webpage!