Grant Imahara is probably best known for the television series MythBusters. Now he makes fact-finding, behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries on McDonald's, for McDonald's.
In this video for the McDonald's YouTube channel he finds out exactly how the fast food chain makes its chips (or, as the Americans persist on calling them, "french fries"). Or as Imahara puts it:
As an engineer, I normally take a bunch of components and put them together to form a machine. Any machine can be deconstructed and by looking at the assembly process in reverse, you can get a better idea of how it's made.
And that's what I'm going to do with McDonald's french fries. I'm going to reverse-engineer the whole process. I'll start with the fully finished fry and in the end... hopefully... I'll have a potato that came straight out of the ground.
After some careful examination, Imahara finds that an actual real genuine potato comes out of the ground, goes to the McDonald's factory, is washed and shot through a chipper at 60-70mph.
Those chips then get covered in sodium acid pyrophosphate (to stop them going grey) and dextrose (for consistent colour) - that's why the fries always look and taste the same - are then partially fried, completely frozen and sent out to the restaurants.
And there you have it...