Nutritionist Marion Nestle analyzed a chicken nugget product supplied to Twin Ports-area school districts by distributor Upper Lakes Foods. The Gold Kist Farms breaded chicken nuggets meet USDA nutrition standards.
Chicken meat, water, vegetable protein product (isolated soy protein, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, niacinamide, ferrous sulfate, vitamin B-12, copper gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin), dried whole egg, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, white pepper and onion powder. Breaded with: enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), salt, dextrose, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), monoglycerides, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, oleoresin paprika. Battered with: water, enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), salt, whey, leavening (sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), spice, garlic powder, oleoresin paprika, guar gum, breading set in vegetable oil.
“The first ingredient is chicken (a good sign), the second is water, and the third is soy protein plus added nutrients. Then come egg, salt, sugar and more sodium. There’s more salt in the breading and batter. Conclusion: This is a salt-watered chicken product with added nutrients and other additives that preserve and texturize. And partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, no less. Kids would be better off eating chicken, period.”
“The nutrient contents don’t look bad. I think the sodium is high — 18 percent of the daily value for an adult — but I’m quite sure it meets USDA standards.”