The Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets Reads "Chicken Little"

Department of Pediatrics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss.. Electronic address: .
The American journal of medicine (Impact Factor: 5). 09/2013; 126(11). DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.05.005
Source: PubMed


To determine the contents of chicken nuggets from 2 national food chains.
Chicken nuggets have become a major component of the American diet. We sought to determine the current composition of this highly processed food.
Randomly selected nuggets from 2 different national fast food chains were fixed in formalin, sectioned and stained for microscopic analysis.
Striated muscle (chicken meat) was not the predominate component in either nugget. Fat was present in equal or greater quantities along with epithelium, bone, nerve, and connective tissue.
Chicken nuggets are mostly fat, and their name is a misnomer.

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    ABSTRACT: Highlights ► A poultry industry has experienced a significant increase in consumption and changes in the distribution of selling whole birds, cut up, and further processed products. ► Current and previous market suggest continue growth around the world. ► A success story has been the chicken nugget originally produced from whole white muscle meat, but today many variations of the same product exist on the global market. ► Challenges to the industry will focus on developing and/or transferring successful dark meat products from the East to the West. ► In the future new technologies and more efficient production lines will become the norm and highly trained food scientists, will be needed to develop more further processed products.
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