Friday 23 January 2015 6:37 am

Fry hard: It turns out McDonald's fries have more than three times as many ingredients in the US than the UK

McDonald's has released the recipe to its fries – and it turns out UK chip-lovers are getting a vastly different item to their US counterparts.

For the UK's version of the McDonald's fry – 337 calories for a medium-sized box – diners are treated to a heady mix of potatoes, two kinds of vegetable oil, dextrose and salt.

In the US, customers (whose medium box of fries comes in a 340 calories) are hit with a veritable cornucopia of flavours, including three kinds of oil, beef flavouring and something called Dimethylpolysiloxane, which is also an ingredient in Silly Putty. Yum.

US friesUK chips
Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt.
Prepared in Vegetable Oil: Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness. Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
*Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients. 
Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed), Dextrose (only added at beginning of the potato season). 
Prepared in the restaurants using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. 
Salt is added after cooking. 

Source: McDonald's

Those with a milk or wheat allergy in the US can forget about eating the chain's fries in their own country, although if they pay a visit to the UK, they can chow down on Maccer D's chips all they want.

In the UK, McDonald's has worked hard to improve its unhealthy reputation. Having introduced salads as a menu option, in 2007 it switched to organic milk, and subsequent marketing campaigns, like the one below, have focused on its locally-sourced, organic ingredients. 

But things could soon change in the US, too: today the company is expected to post results showing the first full-year drop in earnings in 13 years. Analysts polled by FactSet reckon the chain will report earnings per share of $4.94, down from $5.55 in 2013. Investors definitely won't be lovin' that.