McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets are only about 50% actual chicken. The rest is made from synthetic ingredients, including dimethylpolysiloxane. The chemical is used in silicone and can be found in Silly Putty as well as in breast implant fillers.
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some missing information.
The message shared online says McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets contain less of actual chicken, the rest made from synthetic ingredients, also including a chemical Dimethylpolysiloxane used in Silicone, which can also be found in Silly Putty and Breast Implant Fillers. Yes, it is a fact; it does not give complete information though.
The message seems to have originated from a May 2013 article published in 'Word of Mouth blog' in Life & style section of TheGuardian.com, where it is mentioned that McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are not the healthiest thing on the planet, and not really known for being "chicken" either. It was said that the nuggets are only about 50% actual chicken; the rest comprises synthetic ingredients, including a chemical dimethylpolysiloxane used in Silicone that can also be found in Silly Putty & breast implant filler.
The mentioned source of the information (OrganicAuthority.com) is referenced from a related investigation reported in CNN Health Blog in June 2010. According to their investigation, the American McNuggets (4 pieces constituting 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 190 calories energy), along with the chemical preservative (with antioxidant properties) tBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone), a petroleum-based product, also contained Dimethylpolysiloxane, “an anti-foaming agent” and form of silicone used in cosmetics and Silly Putty. In response to this, Lisa McComb, who handles global media relations for McDonald's said that a review of animal studies by the World Health Organization did not find any adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane.
As of July 2014, the ingredients of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets listed on their website McDonalds.com:
Ingredients: White Boneless Chicken, Water, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Seasoning (Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt, Wheat Starch, Natural Flavoring [Botanical Source], Safflower Oil, Dextrose, Citric Acid), Sodium Phosphates, Natural Flavor (Botanical Source). Battered and Breaded with: Water, Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Yellow Corn Flour, Bleached Wheat Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate), Spices, Wheat Starch, Dextrose, Corn Starch.
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.
While you can see Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent, in 2014 as well there are concerns as to what's really inside the McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. LiveStrong.com reports a study about the consumption of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets done by a research associate at New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, Christopher Ochner. The professor points how McDonalds.com states their product is “made with,” not “made of” the white chicken meat, and says there's no way to know the actual chicken percentage in the nugget. The article points some other concerns with McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, also mentioning a time lapse video that may prove chicken plays a minor role in the dish.
About the Dimethylpolysiloxane, the chemical used in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets is also found in silly putty, heat-resistant tiles, contact lenses, shampoos, lubricating oils, medical devices and breast implants. The silicone-based anti-foaming agent is reportedly removed from the United Kingdom's McNugget ingredient list. Discussing related issues, NaturalSociety.com says McNuggets in Britain do not contain some of the dangerous chemicals that are so easily permitted in the US.
Dr. Mercola's Take
In a Jan 2011 article for HuffingtonPost.com, Dr. Mercola raised the aforementioned concerns of Dimethylpolysiloxane and tBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone), concluding processed food like that from McDonald's is not part of a healthful diet. Notably, he also mentioned some harmful chemicals that keep McDonald's Happy Meal every day fresh (do not decompose) -- for six months.
In past, Hamburger chef Jamie Oliver raised concerns over Ammonium Hydroxide use in McDonald’s Burger's meat, which was later discontinued.