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Why Do McDonald's French Fries Taste So Good? TikToker Says the 'Secret' Is in the Oil And It May Be Bad News for Vegetarians The little-known additive in McDonald's cooking oil has sparked controversy for decades.

By Sam Silverman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

A TikToker is shedding light on a little-known ingredient in McDonald's French fries.

Jordan Howlett, 26, a content creator who highlights less popularized (and sometimes controversial) facts about common brands, went viral after claiming he knows "why McDonald's fries taste different from everybody else's fries."

In a TikTok shared on April 15, which has since been viewed over 10 million times, Howlett claims that McDonald's uses "beef flavoring mixed within their vegetable oil" to make its signature fries. "So that's why the fries taste so good but also so different," he alleges.

@jordan_the_stallion8 #stitch with @youraveragetechbro #fypシ ♬ original sound - Jordan_The_Stallion8

The TikToker may be on to something. On McDonald's website, the chain says: "When our suppliers partially fry our cut potatoes, they use an oil blend that contains beef flavoring. This ensures the great-tasting and recognizable flavor we all love from our World Famous Fries."

The company also lists "Natural Beef Flavor" in the item's nutritional information.

RELATED: McDonald's Hamburglar Comes Out of Hiding to Promote Big Burger Changes

While this is bad news for vegetarians, the TikToker said the "beef flavoring" isn't added in Canada and Australia. McDonald's UK website says the fries are "not coated in any fats or substances from an animal" and are "100 percent suitable for vegans."

However, despite little research on the topic, a 2015 report from Eater alleged that natural beef flavoring doesn't necessarily derive from beef and may still be considered vegetarian.

This isn't the first time McDonald's has been in hot water over the "beef flavoring" in its French fries. After the franchise switched to cooking in vegetable oil in the 1990s, a lawsuit alleged that the brand failed to disclose the ingredient and mislead consumers, according to The New York Times.

RELATED: Some McDonald's Franchisees Aren't Happy With Cardi B and Offset's New Meal, Despite Proven Success of Celebrity-Tied Promos

After causing an uproar in India, the McDonald's Corporation issued an apology in 2002 and was asked to pay $10 million to vegetarian and religious groups.

Entrepreneur reached out to McDonald's for comment.

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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