Like the indestructible Chicken McNuggets are practically a culinary punchline, a symbol of hyper-processed fast food with a list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry exam. But now McDonald's wants to take at least some of the mystery substances out.
The world's biggest hamburger chain says it is testing a version without artificial preservatives.
It's the latest move by McDonald's to try to catch up with changing tastes and turn around its business, which has lost customers in recent years.
The new McNugget recipe is "simpler," and "parents can feel good" about it, the fast-food company said.
While McDonald's did not give full details about what is or isn't in the test recipe, it said the new McNuggets do not have sodium phosphates, widely used food additives that the company has said can keep chicken moist. Also, the McNuggets will not be fried in oil containing the artificial preservative TBHQ.
The company said it began testing the new recipe in about 140 stores in Oregon and Washington in March. The test was first reported by Crain's Chicago Business.
McDonald's said it is getting feedback from customers with the McNugget test, and did not say when it might launch the new recipe nationally, or worldwide.