More reports on: Foods / beverages

McDonald's makes major changes to main ingredient in McFlurries

19 May 2017

McDonald's has made a number of major changes to the main ingredient in its McFlurries last year, without customers realising the difference.

McDonald's started phasing out artificial flavours in its vanilla ice cream in 2016 and over the past year, it had been cutting out artificial ingredients from some of its menu items.

The restaurant had already removed artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets, and with high fructose corn syrup from its buns.

Additionally, the company planned to drop frozen beef patties for fresh ones in its Quarter Pounder burgers, across the US by mid-2018.

McDonald's said yesterday that its ice cream, which was used in over 60 per cent of McDonald's dessert items, was already free of artificial colours and preservatives before it made any changes.

"Last summer alone, our customers enjoyed 68 million cones at McDonald's," Darci Forrest, senior director of menu innovation at McDonald's, told CNBC in an email. "We worked closely with our culinary team to ensure taste was not impacted."

She added, the full rollout of the new ice cream to the over 14,000 US locations was "nearly completed."

Further, McDonald's said that its chocolate and strawberry shake syrup will not contain high fructose corn syrup and its whipped topping is now made without artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

The move comes after other fast-casual dining restaurants removed artificial preservatives from some of their menu items. In January, Panera announced removal of artificial ingredients from its food menu, and in March, Chipotle announced that artificial colours, flavours and preservatives were no longer in any items on the menu.

McDonald's had already removed preservatives from McNuggets and said plans to tackle cage-free eggs by 2025 followed by only using chicken that has not been treated with antibiotics used in human health.

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