What's Actually In McDonald's Fruit Smoothies?

McDonald's fruit smoothies on tray
McDonald's fruit smoothies on tray - Bloomberg/Getty Images

McDonald's offers two fruit smoothie flavors on its menu that give health-conscious consumers hope for a more wholesome option than the chain's signature Big Macs and McFlurries. However, with how fast employees have to prepare menu items once they're ordered, and knowing how many gross things there are about McDonald's, it's hard to believe these smoothies are all that fresh. This has led many McDonald's critics and consumers to question what these smoothies' ingredients actually are.

According to the McDonald's website, a medium strawberry banana smoothie is made with a pureed mixture of fruit and juice known as the "fruit base," along with low-fat yogurt and blended ice. Similarly, the mango pineapple smoothie has the exact same recipe, just with a mango and pineapple fruit base. As many critics likely suspected, employees never put actual fruit in a blender. Instead, a machine pumps out a combination of these liquids with ice before pureeing it to perfection.

Read more: McDonald's Menu Items That Even The Staff Won't Eat

There's More To McDonald's Smoothies Than Meets The Eye

McDonald's storefront at dusk
McDonald's storefront at dusk - M. Suhail/Getty Images

You may be inclined to make your own copycat McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie at home, but if you want to get it exactly right, you might have to do some more digging.

While the nutritional info on McDonald's recipe page notes that their mango pineapple smoothie contains 52 grams of sugar, it also has 0 grams of added sugar. Therefore, many consumers would assume that all of the smoothie's sugar comes from the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit. However, the allergy information for the low-fat smoothie yogurt lists "sugar" as the second ingredient, along with fructose (another form of sugar) and gelatin.

As for the fruit base, the juices and purees are from concentrate, and other ingredients include artificial flavors, xanthan gum, and cellulose powder. Cellulose powder is actually "refined wood pulp" that often appears in the pharmaceutical industry, though it occasionally makes its way into processed foods to act as a stabilizing agent. So, while McDonald's fruit smoothies definitely aren't the worst thing for you, there are definitely better alternatives with fewer additives if you're looking for a quick, healthy smoothie on the go.

Read the original article on Mashed.