Chicken nuggets landing into a basket
14 Fast Food Restaurants That Are Still Not Using 100% Real Chicken
By Jay Wilson
1. Burger King’s Chicken Nuggets
Besides the chicken breast and rib meat, Burger King’s nuggets include autolyzed yeast extract, a substance to boost umami, and disodium guanylate (aka E627), a form of salt.
The chicken nuggets are also injected with water and chicken broth, presumably to bulk out the product and add both moisture and flavor, and they also contain dried chicken.
2. Whataburger Chicken Strips
Whataburger’s chicken strips are not 100% real chicken, because up to 12% of each tender contains ingredients like water, sodium phosphate, and isolated soy protein.
Isolated soy protein is a common fixture in processed food and is a cost-effective way to bulk out foods. It’s not bad for you unless you’re allergic to soy, but it’s not chicken.
3. Subway’s Chicken
Subway’s regular grilled chicken and its sweet onion teriyaki chicken contain soy protein concentrate among other additives, making them unsuitable for anyone allergic to soy.
The oven-roasted chicken patty doesn’t have soy protein, but it does have potato starch, dextrose — a form of sugar to add sweetness — and carrageenan.
4. McDonald’s McNuggets
McDonald’s chicken nuggets taste the same no matter where you get them in the world, and that’s because they’re made with a specific, technical, and lengthy list of ingredients.
Along with the chicken, there are several different types of flour, starch, a range of vegetable oils, leavening products, flavorings, lemon juice solids, and spices.
5. Smashburger’s Chicken Tenders
Smashburger’s chicken tenders contain up to 20% of non-chicken items, including fats, flour, acids, leavening products, sugar, and starches. They’re also fried in beef tallow.
Flavoring products include monosodium glutamate, and regular baking soda, but there’s one ingredient described as “flavor,” which could be anything, really.