I was reading Boing Boing today and discovered (via)...

[...] Chicken McNuggets have four distinct shapes and in order to have a chance to meet the McDonald's "Gold Standard" for quality, they have to match them as perfectly as possible.

And each of those shapes has its own name.

Here are the four shapes of Chicken McNuggets, according to Barbara J. Booth, director of sensory science at McDonald's USA:

  • Ball
  • Bone
  • Bell
  • Boot

mcdonalds chicken mcnugget shapes

McDonald's Four Shapes Of Chicken McNuggets - Business Insider

Hmmm, who'd have thought it. The article continues...

But the perfect McNugget needs a lot more than a well-aligned shape, according to McDonald's standards. The company tests flavor, breading texture, meat texture, bite firmness, color, coating, and a whole lot more. It's a strangely thorough process.

... and that made me think: "What exactly does go into a Chicken McNugget?". Well according to McDonalds UK themselves...

Chicken (45%), Coating [Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed, Sunflower), Wheat Flour, Water (8%), Maize Flour, Modified Starch, Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Whey Powder (from Milk), Flavour Enhancer (Potassium Chloride), Egg Albumen (Free Range Egg), Ground Pepper, Breadcrumb (Wheat Flour, Salt), Salt, Dextrose, Ground Celery], Water (7%), Potato Starch, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed, Sunflower), Natural Flavouring (from Free Range Egg), Flavour Enhancer (Potassium Chloride).
Chicken McNuggets® :: McDonalds.co.uk

I'm not surprised they have so many other "standards" they have to meet with all those ingredients. Pity one of those standards isn't actually to live up to the product name. No, not the "nuggets" part (which part of the chicken is the nugget? ;-) ) but the part about the chicken: LESS than HALF of each nugget is actually chicken!!! Can McDonalds really call it a CHICKEN McNugget? Surely it should be called a Chicken-flavoured McNugget with such a low quantity of chicken.

Needless to say, this is another good reason why I haven't eaten McDonalds in well over 2 years. The closest I've got is drinking their coffee whilst using their free wifi when we've visited France :-D