Keith Addison wrote:

>>>I have been told that McDonalds fry oil is the same the world over and
>>>contains 30% chicken fat.
>>Your source was misinformed. In the US, McDonald's uses 100% veggie oil.
>>In fact, when they switched over from a cottonseed oil/tallow blend to
>>100% veggie oil in the early 90s, they worked extensively with chemists
>>at IFF to make sure the unique flavor of McDonald's fries was not altered.
> Wow, John you even spell "McDonald's" right!
> The rest of it's not right though. (No, I'm not a vegetarian.)

The source you list is rather long on outrage and rather short on 
science. I am quite aware of the complaint raised by various vegetarian 
groups against McDonald's on this topic and frankly I didn't think it 
was revelent to the discussion at hand so I didn't get into it in my 
brief response above.

In the US at least, food flavors can be classified as as natural or 
artifical. These flavors are provided to food processors and consumer 
products companies by flavor & fragrance houses like Quest, Givaudan, 
IFF and others. Typically, the exact composition of these flavors are 
trade secrets but the source of starting material determines whether the 
flavor is labelled natural or artifical. Generally, these flavors only 
need to be added in trace amounts.

The "essence of beef" refered to in your link is just such a 'natural 
flavor'. The fact of the matter remains that prior to 1990, McDonald's 
used a 93% cottonseed/7% beef tallow blend. In 1990, because of concerns 
about cholesterol, they switched to 100% vegatable oil to which a tiny 
amount natural flavor, developed at IFF, had been added to mimic the 
unique flavor profile of tallow cooked fries.

Feel free to excoriate McDonald's to your heart's content. God knows 
they make a nasty product and they aren't a very nice corporate citizen. 
However, given the discussion at hand, namely making biofuel, the tiny 
amounts of natural flavor are irrelevent and thus I stand by my previous 
statement. I'm sorry if my prior brevity led to any confusion.

As to whether or not McDonald's fries actually contain "beef", I 
couldn't say. Ironically, given the odd legal semantics of food flavor 
labeling,  a 'natural beef flavor' may not come from a cow at all. When 
I was a product developer for a large multinational food company, I 
worked on a product that included a "natural roasted chicken flavor" 
that was derived entirely from hydrolyzed yeast proteins. The yeast 
protein was natural, and the additive gave the impression of roasted 
chicken, hence "natural roasted chicken flavor." Of course, I can't 
speak to whether the natural tallow flavor used by McDonald's came from 
a cow or not. Only the chemists at IFF know for sure.


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