News / Health

Study: Not So Much Chicken in Chicken Nuggets

A recent analysis of two chicken nuggets from two popular restaurants revealed they only contained 40 to 50 percent meat. (<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Foster_Farms_breast_nuggets_frozen.JPG">Creative Commons</a>)
A recent analysis of two chicken nuggets from two popular restaurants revealed they only contained 40 to 50 percent meat. (Creative Commons)

Related Articles

Over a Billion Tons of Food Wasted Annually

New FAO report cites environment and economic consequences

Video Lifestyle Changes Could Lengthen Telomeres, Life

Test subjects who went on a health kick saw their telomeres lengthen

Compound in Vegetables Protects Against Radiation

Substance in vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli protected rats and mice from lethal doses of radiation
That chicken nugget you’re eating may only contain 40 to 50 percent meat, according to a new study that analyzed chicken nuggets from two major fast-food chains.

What made up the rest of the nuggets? Researchers said “fat, skin, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and bone fragments.”

While all edible, the ingredients don't add up to a good choice, said Dr. Richard deShazo, a professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where the analysis took place.

“I was floored,” deShazo said. “I had read what other reports have said is in them, and I didn’t believe it. I was astonished actually seeing it under the microscope.”

White chicken meat is one of the best sources of lean protein available, deShazo said, and physicians often encourage their patients to eat it.

“What has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it, and still call it chicken. It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them,” he said.

For the examination, deShazo worked with Dr. Steven Bigler, a pathologist at Baptist Health Systems in Jackson, Mississippi, who stained, fixed, sliced and analyzed the nugget sections.

In their paper, the physicians wrote that meat constituted about half of nugget No. 1.

“The nugget from the first restaurant was composed of approximately 50 percent skeletal muscle, with the remainder composed primarily of fat, with some blood vessels and nerve present. Higher-power views showed generous quantities of epithelium and associated supportive tissue including squamous epithelium from skin or viscera,” they wrote.

“The nugget from the second restaurant was composed of approximately 40 percent skeletal muscle. Here, too, there were generous quantities of fat and other tissue, including connective tissue and bone spicules.”

DeShazo cautions that the experiment wasn’t designed as a comprehensive study of nuggets from all major fast-food chains. Nor do the results from two randomly selected nuggets from two prominent chains represent all chicken nugget offerings available.

The National Chicken Council (NCC), a national, non-profit trade association representing the U.S. chicken industry echoed that sentiment.

“This study evaluates only two chicken nugget samples out of the billions of chicken nuggets that are made every year,” said Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., the NCC vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.  “It is not scientifically justifiable to make inferences about an entire product category given a sample size of two.”

She added that NCC members “use quality ingredients and adhere to all food safety laws and regulations” to create nuggets.

“Chicken nuggets are an excellent source of protein, especially for kids who might be picky eaters,” she said.

The American Journal of Medicine published deShazo's findings online in September ahead of its print issue.

Here's a short video about the analysis:

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Markt
October 23, 2013 2:07 PM
I know I had never really liked any chicken nuggets from any fast food chain, now I know I will never eat another one. If I get the hankering for chicken, I will thaw out that package of chicken breasts from the freezer and grill them. You can't tell me there is bone and viscera in those...or I will throw a chicken wing at you....


by: Fnord from: Stendec
October 23, 2013 11:24 AM
You know what they say ... "Parts is parts!"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid