So What Are These "Artificial Preservatives" That McDonald's Is Nixing?

McDonald's announced on Monday that it's scrapping the artificial preservatives from its Chicken McNuggets. That definitely wasn't enough info for us; what were the preservatives, and how did they work in the first place?

Preservatives keep food from oxidizing (going rancid), growing bacteria and going through other natural chemical processes, according to an article written by Louisa Dalton for the American Chemical Society's Chemical and Engineering News publication back in 2002. Some chemicals even prevent food from changing color. These preservatives are all non-toxic in small quantities, but some folks have concerns about the long-term effects. Hot dogs, for example, contain nitrates and nitrites, which might increase your risk of getting cancer.

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