Acrylamide: Save our fries! Belgians say EU spares national dish

Image result for Save our fries! Belgians say EU spares national dishAccording to a Reuters report, Belgium’s national dish, the deep fried potato sticks that much of the English-speaking world gallingly calls “French fries“, has been saved. So, at least, the national government said last week as the European Union agreed to amend food safety rules aimed at curbing cancer. Belgium’s farm minister claimed the EU will now spare the nation’s “friteries” from having to change traditional preparation methods. “The Belgian fry is saved! Europe has listened to Belgium,” Agriculture Minister Willy Borsus said in a statement. In a statement issued in Brussels, the European Commission said EU governments had agreed to its proposals to force cafes and restaurants to apply measures aimed at reducing the presence of carcinogenic acrylamide in food. Frying, baking and roasting produce the substance out of natural acids and sugars. Some argue that Belgium’s traditional method of frying potatoes twice to get crunchy chips creates more acrylamide. Reuters report

McDonald’s takes on the fast-food dead zone

Image result for mcdonaldsTo lure more mid-afternoon customers, McDonald’s Corp. is rejecting its recent health-food kick and rolling out the sweets: croissants, muffin tops and a new sundae-topping station for ice cream lovers. The challenge is daunting. The hours between lunch and dinner are a fast-food dead zone. Only about 5 percent of McDonald’s customers show up at non-meal times such as 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., according to Peter Saleh, an analyst with BTIG in New York. “You’re going to have to give customers a real reason to come in during that off-peak hour,” he said. McDonald’s has a lot riding on the initiative. McDonald’s is pushing the more indulgent side of snacking with its 620-calorie turtle brownie sundae, topped with hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream and salted pecans. But the chain might do better if it promotes more traditional McDonald’s food during slower afternoon times, according to data from NPD Group. The most-ordered snacks in the U.S. are burgers and fries. More

This is the little-known ingredient which makes McDonald’s fries so delicious

 The fries contain an unusual ingredient which gives them an extra kick of flavourThere’s been some recent confusion over what it is which makes McDonald’s fries so special. It turns out that some branches of McDonald’s are serving up fries with a little-known ingredient added to the mix: “natural beef flavouring”. The beefy addition gives the fries an extra kick of flavour, but it means that they aren’t vegan, since the flavouring is actually made from milk. However, you won’t find this extra ingredient in every branch – and you certainly won’t find it in any UK stores. That’s because Maccies uses different recipes in different countries, with the extra flavouring added in US and Canadian McDonald’s stores. In British branches, the fries are milk free, and don’t contain the beef flavouring which has surprised some American customers. More

US: Fast food makes its biggest change since the drive-thru

Restaurants often lag other industries in adopting new technology, lacking the time or budget for massive digital overhauls. But as industry sales have slowed recently, smartphone conveniences have found their way into the world of burgers and fries. Many in the industry are betting that its future lies in that technology — in large part through mobile orders, payments and delivery. Mobile ordering and delivery from the likes of McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s and Burger King mark the biggest change in the way people order fast food since the drive-thru. As that change ripples through the industry, restaurants are facing down questions like how to preserve margins, avoid parking-lot traffic jams, and keep French fries crispy once they enter the balmy ecosphere of the delivery bag. Just as the drive-thru accommodated generations shaped by mass-market car culture, the new digital efforts cater to a new cohort of fast-food customers shaped by e-commerce, social media, smartphones, streaming video and, in one way or another, a lack of time. Report by Investors Business Daily

US: McDonald’s installs kiosks instead of workers

The self-service McDonalds kiosks are already rumored to be replacing all hourly wage cash register employees in 2,500 restaurants.The next time you head up to the counter to order a Big Mac and some fries, don’t be surprised if there’s something missing: a smiling face. McDonald’s is reportedly moving away from human employees with an automated self-check out system that lets patrons place their own orders, pay for their meals, and then retrieve the prepared food items. The self-service kiosks, which are already rumored to be replacing all hourly wage cash register employees in 2,500 restaurants, are expected to spread even further with 3,000 locations in 2018. By the end of 2017, an anticipated 14,000 McDonald’s locations will offer the self-service option, streamlining both sales and order processes in what they anticipate to be approximately an entire percentage point – from 2% to 3% – increase on same store sales forecast. The issue is a hotly contested one in the United States where McDonald’s is headquartered. More

Fries over rings: McDonald’s ends 41-year Olympic sponsorship


McDonald's at the OlympicsMcDonald’s Corp ended its 41-year-old sponsorship of the Olympic Games three years early, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday, reflecting the U.S. fast-food giant’s focus on its core business as well as rising Olympics sponsorship costs and declining TV ratings. McDonald’s deal would have run through the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and bowing out will likely to save it hundreds of million of dollars. McDonald’s has been trying to hold down costs as it invests in improving food quality, restaurant service and online ordering to woo back U.S. diners. While terms of Olympic sponsorship are not disclosed, a source who negotiated previous IOC sponsorship deals said that top global sponsors like McDonald’s spend about $100 million for a four-year period that includes a summer and winter games. Reuters previously reported that the IOC had wanted to roughly double fees to $200 million per four year period starting in 2021. More  Translate

McDonald’s lays out plan it hopes can reverse drop in visits

This Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, photo, shows the golden arches at sunset at a McDonald's restaurant in Robinson Township, Pa. McDonald’s Corp. says it will launch mobile order-and-pay and curbside pickup in the U.S. toward the end of 2017.McDonald’s acknowledged that it lost 500 million customer transactions in the U.S. since 2012, and said it plans to use tempting value deals to help win people back. The world’s biggest burger chain said Wednesday during its investor day in Chicago that much of that business was lost after it did away with its Dollar Menu. McDonald’s outlined its plans after having recorded its fourth straight year of declining guest counts at established U.S. locations in 2016. The company also trimmed its domestic store base for the second year in a row. To get more customers in the door, McDonald’s said it will also more aggressively market coffee and pastries and offer mobile order-and-pay by the end of the year. CEO Steve Easterbrook noted the huge potential of delivery, and that 75 percent of the population in the company’s top five markets — including the U.S. — living within three miles of a McDonald’s. More

Fast-food potato fries come with ecological impacts

Skinny, white friesThe popularity of Russet Burbank potatoes in North America, grown to meet demand for fast-food french fries, is said to have an ecological impact because their long growing season requires lots of fertilizer and fungicides. To grow these “bulked-up” tubers, farmers are encouraged to apply excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer – recommendations have been designed to provide easy nitrogen access to the tubers. However, the extra nitrogen fertilizer not taken up by plants in wet, late season soils can transform to nitrious oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nitrogen fertilizer remaining in the soil also transforms to nitrate, leaching into ground water. In order to make long, skinny, white French fries, processors are paying a premium to farmers for large Russet Burbank potatoes. Farmers grow what is profitable. The white colour of Russet Burbanks and the efficiency of excising optimal numbers of lengthy fries from these tubers are just the ticket for processors seeking to meet this peculiar market. The Little Potato Company (www.littlepotatoes.com) is specializing in growing and processing small creamer potatoes. The ecological footprint of this product is much smaller than hefty potatoes for fries. More

The “Truth” about McDonald’s burger and fries

The "Truth" About McDonald's Burger and FriesPeople may deny it, but there are times when you really crave a McDonald’s burger, fries, or at least a Shamrock Shake. We all know that fast food isn’t really good for you, even if you just order a salad, but how bad is it really? People all over the world eat McDonald’s, and it looks really different depending where you go. It is true, to a point, that the locations in the United States don’t always have the healthiest options. It is also true that you have to balance what you eat with exercise. Making smart choices, like swapping out apple slices for french fries, can also make your meal healthier. Still, what if you don’t want to sacrifice for your trip? Let’s delve into what you’re putting into your body… More

McDonald’s adding new french fry flavor just for Japan based on nostalgic student snack

di-1Fast food giant is looking to school its rivals with new “college potato” fries. To succeed in the Japanese fast food industry, you’ve got to continually present people with new reasons to come through your doors. Just rolling out new main dishes isn’t enough, either. If you really want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to regularly shake up your side order menu too. In pursuit of such innovation, we’ve seen McDonald’s Japan offer french fries with chocolate and pumpkin sauces. Now, the chain is getting ready to start selling a brand-new French fry creation, although it’s one that draws inspiration from Japanese comfort food. Going on sale next week are McDonald’s Japan’s daigaku imo french fries. Daigaku imo, literally meaning “college potato,” is a popular sweet potato snack with a sweet sauce, and allegedly gets its unusual name from being a hit with cash-strapped students looking for a cheap yet tasty way to quell their hunger between regular meals. More

McDonald’s are selling curly fries for a limited time only in Japan

Now, McDonald’s has delighted fast food fans by adding curly fries, which are coated in a special spicy seasoning, to its menu. Twister Fries were unveiled in 2015 and they proved so popular the burger joint has decided to bring them back for a limited time only. But there is one pretty expensive catch – the potato treat is only on sale in Japan. Twister Fries arrived back on the McDonald’s Japan menu this month, after previously popping up in 2015 for one month. This time around they’ll only be available in Japan from now until early February. More

Europe: McDonald’s used a quip about eating disorders from the SKAM hit series to market french fries

McDonald’s has joined the SKAM fad in what Resumé calls a ‘jackpot’ blitz ad campign. The social media ad quotes the Norwegian hit series, which has reached such popularity outside Norway that the music rights holders complained and forced the Norwegian broadcasting company to withdraw SKAM’s international online streaming availability. In Sweden, SKAM is the most streamed show ever on the public braodcasting network SVT, according to Sveriges Radio. As of January 16, over 20 million streaming sessions had been started. The ad read, ‘Kroppen din trenger potet,’ which translates to ‘Your body needs potatoes.’ While McDonald’s uses it as an incentive to buy French fries the original quote references the eating disorder of the character Noora. More

Consumers need not fear acrylamide levels in fries: McDonald’s

A McDonald’s spokesperson said consumers had nothing to fear from indulging in their favourite meal from the fast food store in view of the FSA’s warning earlier this week about the high levels of acrylamide present in fries, toast and other carbs. According to the spokesman, when the warning was released, fast-food chain McDonald’s meals already contained lower levels of acrylamide as compared with other food chains. It had been reported that McDonald’s had been taking steps to cut acrylamide in its food. Over the past decade McDonald’s had changed the variety and type of potatoes they used that had lower starch content and had also introduced new storage methods and processing conditions to limit the risk of acrylamide formation. Acrylamide is formed when sugars and proteins in starchy foods are roasted, fried, baked or toasted. More

McDonalds’ crackdown on ‘cancer-causing’ chemical – as nanny state warns of link between fries and killer disease

McDonald's it has been taking measures to reduce acrylamide, which health officials warned this week could increase a person's risk of cancerMcDonald’s said today it has been taking steps to reduce levels of acrylamide in its food for ten years. Earlier this week the Food Standards Agency warned high levels of the toxic chemical in fries, toast and other carbs could increase the risk of developing cancer. Animal studies have shown a link, but critics erupted with anger at the “nanny state” campaign, pointing out no study has found any such link in humans. A chemical reaction causes acrylamide to form when sugars and proteins in starchy foods are cooked at temperatures in excess of 120°C. The FSA said people should not keep potatoes in the fridge, because cold temperatures increase the risk of acrylamide formation – and the longer potatoes are kept the greater the risk too, their experts said. They said people should follow cooking instructions and aim for chips and toast to be a golden brown, but to avoid crispy, burned food. More