Where do golden, crispy, perfectly shaped McDonald’s French fries come from? Are they even made with potatoes?
In this McDonald’s-produced video, MythBusters host Grant Imahara tours the Simplot factory that makes, freezes, and ships the chain’s fries. Imahara gives a deconstructed look at the assembly process of the McDonald’s French fry.
The process begins with trucks unloading pounds of potatoes onto a conveyer belt at the factory. Next, the potatoes are skinned, washed, and fed into a tube with high-pressure water. The water sends the potatoes through the tube at 60 to 70 miles per hour (awesome), and shoots them through blades that slice them into the familiar fry shape.
After, the fries are covered in dextrose (a.k.a. corn sugar). The Simplot factory production planner says this is to “make sure we get a consistent color no matter what time of the year it is.”
Then the fries are coated in sodium acid pyrophosphate, which keeps the fries from graying after freezing.
After, the fries are partially fried and flash frozen. At the end of the process, the fries are packaged and sent to McDonald’s restaurants across the U.S., where they’re fried until golden and coated with salt.