Category Archives: controversial

Starbucks introduces the new Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar and Egg Sandwich

double smoked baconStarbucks continues on its mission of increasing the quantity and variety of its food offerings. Now they’ve introduced another new breakfast sandwich – the Double-Bacon, Cheddar and Egg Sandwich.

Although this sounds quite like a standard bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, it definitely offers a twist. This sandwich is served on what Starbucks is calling a croissant roll — that is a croissant that resembles a bun. Oh, and the bacon is double-smoked.

So is this new offering something you want to pick up for breakfast? Let’s take a look.

Here are the nutrition facts for the sandwich:

Calories:                          540
Fat:                                   32 grams
Saturated Fat:                18 grams
Trans Fat:                       1 gram
Cholesterol:                   220 mg.
Sodium:                          940 mg.

There’s definitely another way that this breakfast sandwich is differentiating itself. It may as well be a burger. The Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar and Egg sandwich is really a more upscale take on Burger King’s Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissan’wich. Believe it or not, Burger King does a better job with nutrition facts. The Croissan’wich offers fewer calories, less fat, less saturated fat, no trans fat and less cholesterol. Even though its ingredient list is awful, the Croissan’wich fits into that magic “under 400 calorie” breakfast category.

What about the ingredient list for the Double-Smoked Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich:

Croissant roll (unenriched wheat flour, butter [cream, natural flavor], water, milk, sugar, yeast, sea salt, eggs), fried egg patty (egg whites, egg yolks, milk, food starch-modified, salt, citric acid), smoked bacon (cured with: water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphate, natural flavor [water, natural flavors], sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite), sharp cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, color added).

The ingredients here aren’t great, but FoodFacts.com has certainly seen worse. The fact is that the nutrition facts tell the story for this sandwich. And it isn’t a compelling story.

We’re not buying this one. Starbucks is going to have to do better.

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/hot-breakfast/double-smoked-bacon-cheddar-and-egg-sandwich?foodZone=9999

Attention cola fans: caramel color may put you at risk for cancer

GETTY_12414_SodaFoodFacts.com has had a lot to say about caramel color over the years. The artificial color is quite high on our avoid list for several important reasons. Caramel color can decrease the body’s immune response. People with gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease can experience an allergic reaction to caramel color. It can raise blood pressure. And it has been linked to cancer. There are four types of caramel color and two of the most common types have been proven especially harmful. The problem is that consumers can’t identify the type of caramel color used in any product because manufacturers aren’t required to identify it on ingredient lists. While caramel color is used in thousands of products, sodas are the most common place you’ll find the ingredient.

Thousands of Americans drink soda every day and these individuals do not just increase their sugar intake and their odds of packing unnecessary weight. They also put themselves at risk of developing cancer.

The ingredients of colas and other soft drinks typically include a caramel coloring, which gives these beverages their distinct caramel color.

Unfortunately, some types of this food coloring contain a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI), a potential carcinogen.

Now, an analysis published in the journal PLOS ONE on Feb. 18 has revealed that more than half of Americans between 6 and 64 years old sip amounts of soft drinks per day that could expose them to amounts of 4-MeI that could raise their risks of developing cancer.

Keeve Nachman, from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and colleagues looked at a previous study conducted by researchers from the Consumer Reports that analyzed the concentration of 4-Mel in 12 brands of sodas and soft drink. They also analyzed the soft drinks consumption in the U.S. using data from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) to estimate the potential cancer risks of soft drinks consumption.

The researchers found that the average soda consumption in the U.S. ranges from a little over 12-ounces(1 can) to almost two and a half cans of soda per day with the biggest consumers being those between 16 and 44 years old. Children between 3 to 5 years old were likewise found to drink soft drinks on a typical day averaging about two thirds of a can.

The researchers said that at the rate at which Americans consume soda, they expect the emergence of between 76 to 5,000 cancer cases in the U.S. over the next seven decades that can be attributed to exposure to 4-MeI alone.
“It appears that 4-MeI exposures associated with average rates of soft drink consumption pose excess cancer risks exceeding one case per 1,000,000 exposed individuals, which is a common acceptable risk goal used by some U.S. federal regulatory agencies,” the researchers wrote.

Nachman said that soft drink consumers get exposed to unwanted and avoidable cancer risks from an ingredient that is added to beverages and other foods for aesthetic purposes and this raises concerns on the continued use of caramel coloring in sodas. The Food and Drug Administration said that it will take a closer look at the use of this artificial coloring in a variety of foods.

Soda is unnecessary in any diet. Skipping the sugar and calories in sugared sodas and the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas, the ingredient lists are laden with chemicals. Caramel color is one of the most popular chemicals in those ingredient lists. Watch for it — not only in sodas, but in a variety of other foods and beverages as well.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/34580/20150222/caramel-color-in-cola-may-give-you-cancer-time-to-ditch-it.htm

Heinz wants you to spice up that burger — introducing new Sriracha Flavored Ketchup

heinzsrirachaketchupLooking for a little zip with your ketchup? Heinz has just the thing for you — the new Heinz Tomato Kechup Blended with Sriracha Flavor!

It will feature the recognizable taste of ketchup, with an added kick from spicy chili pepper and garlic flavors.

In a press release Joseph Giallanella, Brand Manager of Heinz Tomato Ketchup said: “We are thrilled to announce that Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Sriracha Flavor will join the beloved Heinz Ketchup portfolio.” Giallanella added, “Building off of our successful line of flavored ketchups, fans told us that they would love another bold take on their favorite condiment. The new offering adds a new kick to your favorite foods and recipes, pairing well with cheeseburgers, French fries and hot dogs, and is the perfect flavor boost for chicken and eggs.”

While the flavor may, in fact, add a boost to foods, FoodFacts.com is just as concerned with the ingredients. So, here they are:

TOMATO CONCENTRATE FROM RED RIPE TOMATOES, DISTILLED VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SALT, NATURAL FLAVORING, PAPRIKA EXTRACTIVES

That Sriracha flavor sure sounds good — but where is it in the list?????? Oh that must be what that natural flavoring is all about! And, of course, there’s high-fructose corn syrup.

Heinz, most consumers like to find the actual ingredient flavoring the product in the ingredient list. To find anything else leaves us feeling somewhat ripped off.

Some products sound much better than they actually are. This is one of them.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2015/02/10/heinz-unveils-new-sriracha-ketchup-flavor/
http://www.heinzketchup.com/Products/Heinz%20%20Ketchup%20Blended%20with%20Sriracha%20Flavor%2014oz

For a limited time only on your grocery store shelves … Red Velvet Oreos. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.39.10 AMIntroduced earlier in February and expected to last for about eight weeks — or until packages run out — Red Velvet Oreos are here to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend!

For all red velvet everything lovers, FoodFacts.com thought we should take a closer look at these very special limited edition Oreos. So let’s get started with the nutrition facts for a serving size of two cookies (even though we honestly don’t know anyone who eats only two):

Calories:                       140
Fat:                                7 grams
Saturated Fat:             2 grams
Sugar:                          13 grams

Admittedly, these don’t look any different than most cookies. The nutrition facts for Red Velvet Oreos are fairly standard. Of course, most folks would have to double those, because they’re likely eating four instead of two. But who are we to argue about the serving size? We can only hope that in the future the servings quoted will fall more in line with actual eating habits.

But what about the ingredients for these red-velvety treats?

Sugar, Unbleached Flour (What Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine, Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid) Palm and/or Canola Oil, Dextrose, Cocoa (natural and processed with Alkalai), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Brown Sugar, Cornstarch, Baking Soda, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Calcium Phosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Artificial Color (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake), Chocolate

While we didn’t think Oreos would approach the red in Red Velvet Oreos with beet juice (the natural and preferable way to achieve the expected color of red velvet anything), we didn’t quite expect the ingredient list to be as colorful as it actually is. Add to that some Natural and Artificial Flavor and a little High Fructose Corn Syrup and, as you might imagine, we’re not really thrilled.

While many may view it as complicated and time consuming, if we’re looking for a red-velvet Valentine’s Day treat, we’ll be making it ourselves in our own kitchens.

If you do decide to give Red Velvet Oreos a try, remember they’ll only be around for a short while.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wendy’s new Bacon and Blue on Brioche … a bit much for fast food?

WendysWendy’s new Bacon and Blue on Brioche doesn’t sound much like a fast food burger. This limited edition burger attempts to elevate a fast food staple to a gourmet level. But are we really looking for gourmet fast food?

FoodFacts.com isn’t sure about how to answer that. We know what we can answer though — and that’s what are we eating when we order the Bacon and Blue on Brioche.

First let’s take a look at the nutrition facts for the new burger:

Calories:                       650
Fat:                                39 grams
Saturated Fat:             16 grams
Trans Fat:                    1.5 grams
Sodium:                       1290 mg

We’d like to point out that even before we get to the ingredient list, we know we’re not going to be eating this one. The 39 grams of fat and 16 grams of saturated fat are bad enough. But that 1.5 grams of trans fat are 1.5 grams too many.

But let’s take a look at the ingredients and see what we think:

Tomatoes, Spring Mix: Baby Lettuces (red & green Romaine, red & green oak, red & green leaf, lolla Rosa, tango), Spinach, Mizuna Arugula, Tatsoi, Red Chard, Green Chard, Blue Cheese Herb Alioli: Soybean Oil, Water, Blue Cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Egg Yolk, Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Herbs (including rosemary and thyme) And Spices, Garlic (dehydrated), Onion (dehydrated), Shallots, Mustard Seed, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (preservatives), Glucono Delta Lactone, Xanthan Gum, Nonfat Dry Milk, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor). CONTAINS: EGG, MILK, Applewood Smoked Bacon: Pork Cured With: Water, Salt, Sugar, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Blue Cheese Crumbles: Blue Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, penicillium roqueforti), Powdered Cellulose (to prevent caking), Natamycin (to protect flavor). CONTAINS: MILK, ¼ Pound Hamburger Patty: Ground Beef. Seasoned with Salt, Brioche Bun: Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Sugar, Yeast, Buttermilk Powder (whey solids, enzyme-modified butter, maltodextrin, salt, guar gum, annatto and turmeric [color]), Egg Yolks, Butter, Salt, Dough Conditioner (wheat flour, DATEM, contains 2% or less of: silicon dioxide [flow aid], soybean oil, enzymes [wheat], calcium sulfate, salt), Dry Malt, Calcium Propionate, Dough Conditioner (degermed yellow corn flour, turmeric and paprika [color], contains 2% or less of: natural flavor), Egg Wash (eggs, water). CONTAINS: WHEAT, EGG, MILK.

So that confirms it. This one is a no for us. If the Bacon and Blue on Brioche was an effort to elevate the fast food burger, there were better ways to do it.

https://www.wendys.com/en-us/nutrition-info

The new Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Cores are here! Excited?????

fair2They’re out! The new Spectacular Speculous, Peanut Buttah and Boom Chocolatta Cookie Core flavors.

Before we get too excited, FoodFacts.com thought we should get to the “core” of the new Cores. So let’s take a look and see exactly what we’ve got here.

The first one, Spectacular Speculous features Dark Caramel & Vanilla Ice Creams with Speculoos Cookies & a Speculoos Cookie Butter Core. Sounds pretty good. Here are the ingredients that go into it:

Cream, Skim Milk, Water, Liquid Sugar (Sugar, Water), Soybean Oil, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Coconut Oil, Butter (Cream, Salt), Corn Syrup, Brown Sugar, Potato Flour, Cocoa Butter, Molasses, Vanilla Extract, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Spices, Whey Protein Concentrate, Honey, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Caramelized Sugar Syrup, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Carrageenan, Vanilla Beans.

Let’s move on to Peanut Buttah which boasts Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Crunchy Peanut Butter Sugar Bits, Peanut Butter Cookies & a Peanut Butter Cookie Core. The ingredients for this flavor as listed on the website are:

Cream, Skim Milk, Liquid Sugar (Sugar, Water), Water, Peanuts, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Egg Yolks, Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Peanut Oil, Butter (Cream, Salt), Coconut Oil, Potato Flour, Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Salt, Brown Sugar, Eggs, Whey Protein Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Cocoa Butter, Peanut Flour, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vanilla Extract, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Milk.

And then we come to Boom Chocolatta with Mocha & Caramel Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookies, Fudge Flakes & a Chocolate Cookie Core. Ingredients for this new core are:

Cream, Skim Milk, Liquid Sugar (Sugar, Water), Water, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Egg Yolks, Butter (Cream, Salt), Coffee Extract, Corn Syrup, Rice Flour, Potato Flour, Wheat Flour, Coconut Oil, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Natural Flavor, Cocoa Powder, Soy Lecithin, Eggs, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Milk, Whey Protein Concentrate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Milkfat.

Phew. That’s all three of them. And, honestly, we’re kind of glad we held off on our excitement. We’re not thrilled with natural flavor, carrageenan or caramel color. And those ingredients are showing up pretty consistently here.

Yeah, we know it’s Ben & Jerry’s. So we know that once in a while, even some of the most nutrition-conscious folks ARE going to indulge. Just thought you should know anyway!

http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/cookie-cores

Baskin-Robbins’ new Icing on the Cake flavor … we’re not sure this is actually ice cream

landingPortraitConesHave your cake and lick it too. Cake flavored ice cream with cake pieces, frosting bits, and candy confetti ribbon.

That’s how Baskin-Robbins is promoting its new Icing on the Cake flavor on their website.

We’ve got to be honest with you. FoodFacts.com isn’t really certain that this can actually be classified as ice cream. We don’t know that we’ve encountered an ice cream product that contains 72 ingredients. Some of the most interesting flavors of ice cream available don’t contain anything close to 72 ingredients.

Here they are, in all there not-so-glorious glory:

Cream, Nonfat Milk, Confetti Swirl Ribbon [Powdered Sugar (Sugar, Corn Starch), Peanut Oil, Maltodextrin, Nonpareils (Sugar, Corn Starch, Confectioner's Glaze, Yellow 5, Carnauba Wax, Red 3, Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), White Coating (Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel and Palm Oils, Reduced Mineral Whey Powder, Whole Milk Powder, Nonfat Dry Milk, Soy Lecithin as an Emulsifier, Salt), Stabilizer (Mono and Diglycerides, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid as an Antioxidant, Soy Lecithin as an Emulsifier), Salt], Sugar, Cake Pieces (Unbleached Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm Oil, Water, Nonfat Milk Powder, Salt, Natural Flavors), Frosted Cookie Freckles [Sugar, Coconut Oil, Buttermilk Powder, Natural Flavor, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Artificial Colors (Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake), Soy Lecithin as an Emulsifier], Vanilla Cream Flavored Base [Sugar, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Salt, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)], Corn Syrup, Whey Powder, Emulsifier/Stabilizer Blend (Cellulose Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80), Natural Flavors.

22 of these ingredients are controversial — about 30% of the total ingredients are items we really don’t want to be eating. And two of them stand out above and beyond the others.

The use of confectioner’s glaze is especially unappealing. For those who are not clear on what confectioner’s glaze is — it’s actually shellac (commonly used to varnish wood surfaces). Shellac is actually a chemical secreted by female lac bugs (Laccifer lacca), a type of “scale insect.” They create shellac in order to form sheltering tunnels as they travel along the outside of trees. It is extracted for industrial use by scraping bark, bugs and tunnels off of trees in Asian forests and into canvas tubes. The tubes are then heated over a flame until the shellac melts and seeps out of the canvas, after which it is dried into flakes for sale. Before use in food or as varnish, the shellac must be re-dissolved in denatured alcohol.
The second one we take serious issue with is carnuba wax. That’s the same wax that’s used in car wax and shoe polish. And in Icing on the Cake, we get to eat it.

Is this really ice cream? We’re not so sure.

So, Baskin-Robbins, we’d really rather not have our cake and lick it too. It’s kind of toxic. Sorry.

https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/products/icecream/flavors.html?popupurl=/content/baskinrobbins/en/products/icecream/flavors/icingonthecakeicecream.html

Dip in a bagel from Dunkin … the new Spinach Artichoke Supreme

bagel ddNew flavor combinations. Food manufacturers and fast food giants are always trying to come up with just the right marriage of flavors to get us really excited about a new product. They’re all trying to find the new sour cream and onion potato chip or cookies ‘n cream ice cream that will take off with consumers. Sometimes, though, FoodFacts.com doesn’t necessarily understand the new combinations. We don’t necessarily mind “out-of-the-box” pairings, but some of them aren’t simply “out-of-the-box,” they’re down-right puzzling.

For instance, we wouldn’t actually think to combine spinach artichoke dip with a bagel.

But Dunkin thought of it.

So here’s what you need to know about the new Dunkin Donuts Spinach Artichoke Supreme bagel.

Nutrition Facts

Calories:                          390
Fat:                                   6 grams
Sodium:                           840 mg

Oddly, the Spinach Artichoke Supreme bagel has one less gram of fat than their multigrain bagel — and only 40 more calories. We honestly find this puzzling.

The Spinach Artichoke Supreme is a savory, cheesy bagel. That should probably translate into more fat and substantially more calories than what is supposedly its healthier counterpart. But it doesn’t. So that can only lead us to believe that the new bagel’s ingredient list is probably not something we’re going to find appealing. Let’s take a look:

Bagel: Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Sugar, Malt Extract, Degermed Yellow Corn Meal, Yeast, Salt, Natural Ferment Flavor (Cultured Wheat and Wheat Malt Flours, Vinegar, Salt), Molasses, Dough Conditioner (Malted Barley Flour, Enzymes, Dextrose), Soy (Trace); Topping: Monterey Jack Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Spinach, Artichokes, Low Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Garlic, Water, Parmesan Cheese (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Medium Asiago Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Contains less than 2% of: Cream, Skim Milk, Salt, Modified Potato Starch, Methylcellulose, Butter (Pasteurized Cream, Salt), Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Natural Parmesan Cheese Flavor, Xanthan Gum.

That list carries a surprisingly large number of ingredients for a bagel. If you look closely, you’ll notice that it carries plenty of hidden MSG and preservatives. And that someone thought that after including all that cheese in the bagel, it was also necessary to add something referred to as Natural Parmesan Cheese Flavor to the product.

We don’t really see how this is breakfast. The idea of slathering this with butter or cream cheese doesn’t make much sense to us. It’s spinach artichoke dip baked into a bagel. It’s not screaming for our traditional additions to breakfast baked goods. So it’s already not working for us. We’re also not happy with the nutrition facts or the ingredient list.

All in all, we’ll save the dip for snacking and leave it out of our bagels. It’s much less complicated that way.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/bakery/bagels/bagels.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Spinach+Artichoke+Supreme+Bagel

Baskin Robbins ode to the military … Camouflage Ice Cream

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.02.01 PMUpon hearing about some new food products or flavors, FoodFacts.com often asks ourselves “Did anyone really need that?”

Honestly, that was our question when we heard that last month Baskin-Robbins introduced its new Camouflage Ice Cream. While its a lovely concept that Baskin-Robbins wanted to honor veterans and our military, we’re not quite sure that anyone was ever thinking about consuming ice cream that looks like camo. Overall, the reviews we’ve read were positive … once people got past the unusual appearance. But that unusual appearance (dark brown, light brown and khaki green) peaked our interest.

We thought we’d take a closer look.

On the Baskin-Robbins website, you’ll find this description for the new flavor: “Chocolate, Salty Caramel, and Cake flavored ice creams team up to make a flavor so delicious, you’ll never see it coming.” Admittedly, the flavor combination sounds interesting. But let’s find out what’s really going on inside those scoops.

In every 4 ou. serving you’ll find:

Calories:                     240
Fat:                             14 grams
Saturated Fat:           9 grams
Sugar:                       19 grams

It’s ice cream and no one expects ice cream to carry stellar nutrition facts. Ice cream is all about ingredients. And here are the ingredients for Baskin-Robbins camouflage ice cream:

Cream, Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Vanilla Cream Flavor Base [Sugar, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Salt, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)], Whey Powder, Salt Caramel Base [Corn Syrup, Butter (Cream, Salt), Water, Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Skim Milk (Condensed Skim Milk, Sugar), Natural Flavors, Caramel Color, Annatto (Color), Salt, Carrageenan, Sulfites], Chocolate Liquor and Cocoa processed with alkali, Stabilizer/Emulsifier Blend (Cellulose Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80), Caramel Color, Red 40, Yellow 5 , Blue 1, Yellow 6, Natural Flavors (Contains Barley).

Like we said, ice cream is all about the ingredients. First of all we now understand how that interesting camo pattern was achieved. There are far too many colorful ingredients in this list. In addition, 15 of the 38 ingredients are controversial. Too many ingredients to begin with and too many controversial ingredients on top of that.

The question remains. Did anyone really need this? Our answer is absolutely not. We never wanted to eat camo. And we certainly don’t want to eat camo made from these ingredients.

https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/products/icecream/flavors.html

McDonald’s answers some questions about the McRib

HT_mcrib_beauty_jtm_141104_16x9_992Possibly the most iconic of any of the McDonald’s menu items, the McRib might just have more fans than the Big Mac. Part of its appeal comes from its limited time availability releases. Since fast food lovers can’t always have a McRib, its allure is heightened. For FoodFacts.com the McRib is not an alluring sandwich. It’s nutrition facts and ingredient list tell us to stay far away from it.

McDonald’s recently launched a new campaign called “Our Food, Your Questions” in an effort to offer consumers more transparency into exactly what’s in their menu items.

The latest dish it tackles is the popular McRib, which only makes limited-time appearances, causing fervor among its devotees. Here’s a step-by-step look at how the beloved barbecue sandwich is made.

Step 1: It begins with boneless pork shoulder.
“We have a boneless pork picnic, which is the main ingredient in the McDonald’s McRib patty,” Kevin Nanke says. “This is what we purchase and bring in to the facility to make the McRib.”

Nanke is the vice president of Lopez Foods in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which is McDonald’s USA pork supplier. All the bones and gristle from the pork shoulder are removed to prepare for grinding.

Step 2: The meat is ground and flavoring and preservatives are added.
During grinding, water, salt, dextrose and preservatives are added to the meat.
The dextrose is a type of sugar used to add sweetness, and the preservatives (BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid) help maintain the flavor, according to McDonald’s.

Step 3: The McRib shape is formed.
In the factory, the ground meat is pressed into the iconic McRib shape, meant to resemble meat and bones — except this is all meat, and the bone shape is pork as well.

Step 4: Water is sprayed on to prepare for freezing.
A fine mist of water is added to the formed McRib to prevent dehydration during freezing.

Step 5: The McRib is frozen.
The factory flash-freezes the McRib to prepare for shipment.

Step 6: The McRib is cooked.
When the McRib is at the restaurant and ready to be prepared, it’s cooked in a Panini press-type machine.

Step 7: The McRib patty is done when both sides are seared to a golden brown.
Food safety, quality and regulatory technicians at Lopez Foods regularly make test batches for quality assurance.

Step 8: After it’s seared, the cooked McRib marinates in barbecue sauce.
The barbecue sauce has a lot of ingredients. According to McDonald’s, here they are and why:

For flavor and texture: Tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, natural smoke flavor (plant source), salt, sugar and spices

For flavor and as a preservative: Distilled vinegar

For thickness, body and sheen: Water, xantham gum, soybean oil, modified food starch

For color: Caramel color, beet powder

As a preservative: Sodium benzoate

Step 9: The sandwich is assembled.
First, the hoagie-style roll is toasted and layered with onions and pickles before the McRib is placed on.

McDonald’s has been criticized for using azodicarbonamide in their rolls because the same ingredient is used in non-food products, such as yoga mats. Here’s the official explanation:
“The ingredient you refer to is azodicarbonamide (ADA) and it’s sometimes used by bakers to help keep the texture of their bread consistent from batch to batch, which is why it is used in the McRib hoagie-style roll.”

“There are multiple uses for azodicarbonamide, including in some non-food products, such as yoga mats. As a result, some people have suggested our food contains rubber or plastic, or that the ingredient is unsafe. It’s simply not the case. Think of salt: the salt you use in your food at home is a variation of the salt you may use to de-ice your sidewalk. The same is true of ADA — it can be used in different ways.”

The rest of the ingredients in the roll are:

Main ingredients: Enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water

For caramelization when toasting: High fructose corn syrup

For volume and texture: Yeast, wheat gluten, enzymes, sodium stearoyl lactylate, DATEM, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono and diglycerides, calcium peroxide

For tenderness: Soybean oil

For flavor: Salt, barley and malt syrup, corn meal

For leavening: Calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate

As a preservative: Calcium proponiate

As for the other ingredients, the onions are just onions, and the pickles have multiple ingredients, all below:

Main ingredients: Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar

For flavor: Salt, natural flavors (plant source), polysorbate 80 (emulsifier: helps ensure that the spice blend disperses within the brine), extracts of turmeric (for color and flavor)

To maintain crisp texture: Calcium chloride, alum

As a preservative: Potassium sorbate

So McDonald’s is being upfront about the ingredients used in the McRib. And while we think it’s impressive that they’re coming forward with them, we’re honestly offended at their attempt to gloss over the use of azodicarbonamide, as well as how they’re attempting to explain away other controversial ingredients like polysorbate 80, natural flavors, caramel color and high fructose corn syrup. Intelligent consumers aren’t going to accept the idea that McDonald’s needs to use polysorbate 80 to ensure that the spice blend (or natural flavors) disperses within the pickle brine.

Instead of providing transparency, it may appear to some that McDonald’s is actually attempting to make light of the controversial ingredients consistently included in their menu items. Maybe if they tell us they are necessary, we’ll ignore them.

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/mcrib-made/story?id=26683944