McDonald’s Cleaning Up Menu, Adding ‘Simple Ingredients’ Like Olive Oil

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McDonald’s says it’s simplifying its grilled chicken recipe to remove ingredients people might not recognize, marking the latest sign the company is rethinking its menu to keep up with changing tastes.

The company says it expects the new “Artisan Grilled Chicken” to be in its more than 14,300 U.S. stores by the end of next week, in products including a new sandwich, as well as existing sandwiches, wraps and salads.

It says the biggest change is the removal of sodium phosphates, which it said was used to keep the chicken moist, in favor of vegetable starch. The new recipe also does not use maltodextrin, which McDonald’s said is generally used as a sugar to increase browning or as a carrier for seasoning.

Jessica Foust, director of culinary innovation at McDonald’s, said the changes were made because customers said they want “simple, clean ingredients” they are familiar with.

“Maltodextrin is just not something they have in their pantries,” Foust said.

The change comes as McDonald’s fights to hold onto customers amid the growing popularity of places like Chipotle that position themselves as more wholesome alternatives to traditional fast-food.

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