Who doesn't love Mickey D's fries? I mean, even just the smell of them makes my stomach growl. So what is it about these fries that get the people going? Is it the potatoes? The oil? The mad cheap price? Who knows. But one thing we do know is that the ingredient list for McDonald's French fries is worthy of novel status, and we don't know how to feel about it. So we broke it down for you:

1. Potatoes 

ulluco, plum, sweet, loquat, vegetable, pasture
Alex Frank

Obviously. McDonald's buys 3.4 BILLION pounds of taters annually. The people really need their French fries. 

2. Canola Oil

Alex Frank

Understandable, French FRIES. We need oil to fry them, and canola is always a good choice. 

3. Soybean Oil

water, wine, beer
Alex Frank

Okay... not quite sure why we need another oil, but still only three ingredients isn't too bad.

4. Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

ice, yogurt, sweet, dairy, dairy product, cream, milk
Alex Frank

Not gonna lie, I had to look up the definition of "hydrogenated" but it just means "made into a solid fat. "So basically, it's the same as #3, and seems unneeded.

5. Natural Beef Flavor

hamburger bun, hamburger, tomato, mayonnaise, ketchup, cheddar, lettuce, cheese, sandwich, bread, bun
Alex Frank

If we wanted "natural beef flavor," wouldn't we just grab a Big Mac, and not a large fry? WTF Mickey D's.

6. Hydrolyzed Wheat

corn, wheat, cereal
Christin Urso

Uh-oh. My gluten-intolerant friend who lives off French fries would be pretty upset to find this one out. This version of wheat protein could be of concern for those with celiac disease. 

7.  Hydrolyzed Milk

milk, tea, water
Alex Frank

Typically found as a form of infant formula, this type of milk is hypo-allergenic (no worries to those lactose-intolerants), but why is this necessary for French fries?

8. Citric Acid

lemon peel, sweet, lemonade, citron, juice, lemon
Alex Frank

Used in more foods than you probably know, this acid is used for flavoring and acidifying agent. So, maybe it gives it a salty flavor? We'll let this one slide...

9. Dimethylpolysiloxane

ketchup, potato, salt, french fries
Alex Frank

Take a guess what that means. Well, what we do know is that it is used as a silicon in the manufacturing of silly putty... WTF.

10. Dextrose

rice, sweet, cereal, salt
Aakanksha Joshi

Basically this is a sweetening additive, but, last time I checked, French fries aren't sweet.

11. Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate

dairy product, pastry, bread, sweet
May Sullivan

This guy is responsible for preventing discoloration of the potatoes while they are being shipped across the world. Without it, your meal would be a little less appetizing, so this is understandable. 

12. Salt

candy, sweet, ice, salt
Aakanksha Joshi

100% necessary and essential, end of story. 

13. Canola Oil

alcohol, beer, liquor, wine
Alex Frank

Here's where we get annoying. Yes, I realize this was already said, and no, this is not a mistake. McDonald's fries, freezes, and re-fries their taters so three ingredients are used twice, so maybe technically it's 16 ingredients but I'm calling BS.

14. Corn Oil

maize, sweet corn, meat, vegetable, popcorn, cereal, hazelnut, straw, pasture, corn
Allie Coneys

ANOTHER oil, you have to be kidding, this can't be necessary. 

15. Soybean Oil

beer, liquor, alcohol, wine
Jessica Payne

Seriously... another oil? These fries are one part potatoes to seven parts oil at this point. There has to be another way.

16. Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

lentil, mung bean, soy, cereal, pasture, pea, vegetable, legume
Emanuel Storch

Again, a solid-fat-turned version of soybean oil. That's soybeans x4 in Mickey D's fries... let me know, why?!

17. TBHQ

sandwich, ketchup, hamburger, cheese, bun, french fries, bread
Alex Frank

TBH I don't know what TBHQ is... but further research tells me it's a food additive that prevents it from oxidizing, which makes it lose flavor. High doses of TBHQ are toxic, but no worries, the little amount used in your fries won't harm a fly.

18. Citric Acid

sweet, lime, citrus, lemon, juice
Sarah Silbiger

More citric acid. Why, just why is that necessary Mickey D's?!

19. Dimethylpolysiloxane 

ketchup, french fries
Alex Frank

And here we go again with the silicon-like additive found in silly putty. Wasn't it good enough to gross us out once?

So there you have 19 (well, 16 if you want to be picky) ingredients that are found in your Golden Arches French fries. Now, you may be thinking — it's fast food, of course it has chemicals, it has to be transported. Well, that's no excuse. Fast food chains like In-N-Out and Five Guys serve fresh cut fries (that are equally as tasty) with just three ingredients: potatoes, one oil, and salt, so why can't Mickey D's do the same?

It seems silly that one simple item has 19 ingredients in it. It makes you wonder how many ingredients are in more complex foods like the McNuggets or the Big Mac. Times are changing and people are starting to become more health conscious; however, it doesn't seem to stop people from purchasing Mickey D's fries.

In fact, French fries continue to be McDonald's #1 selling item year after year — which means they probably won't be changing their recipe any time soon, so sorry gluten-intolerants.