McDonald's removing artificial additives from its burgers

Company aims to attract health-conscious consumers

By JORDAN VALINSKY
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - McDonald's is on a mission to eliminate artificial ingredients from its menu. Even the Big Mac Special Sauce is getting a makeover.

The fast-food company, which hopes to attract more health-conscious consumers to its drive-thrus and counters, announced changes to its most popular hamburgers Wednesday.

Its seven classic burgers -- the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Big Mac -- will no longer include artificial preservatives, flavors or coloring.

The change affects every part of the sandwich, from the bun to the cheese and the sauce.

McDonald's said it stripped components like calcium propionate, an artificial preservative, from its buns and eliminated sorbic acid, a preservative, from its American cheese.

The iconic Big Mac Special Sauce is also being reformulated. McDonald's said it's removing artificial preservatives including potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and calcium disodium EDTA without "sacrificing that signature taste."

But one thing that isn't changing? The pickle. Those still contain an artificial preservative.

"This development demonstrates our commitment to leading with the customer and building a better McDonald's," said McDonald's US president Chris Kempczinski in a statement.

McDonald's is following an industry trend toward healthier food. Companies like Taco Bell, Subway and Panera Bread have all recently moved to nix artificial ingredients from their menus.

In 2016, McDonald's eliminated artificial preservatives from its McNuggets and ditched high fructose corn syrup in its buns.

Earlier this year, the company replaced frozen beef with fresh beef in its Quarter Pounders and rejiggered its Happy Meal offerings with healthier options, like milk.

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