The Daily Beast tests out Burger King's Satisfries, crinkle cut fries that contain 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than the leading French fries, and which took a decade to develop.
The solution Burger King has taken is not to retire existing products, or to branch out into super-healthy offering (quinoa burgers, anyone?), but to offer consumers a choice with incremental but significant improvements. Comparisons arent particularly easy. Burger King says that based on a 70-gram serving, the Satisfries would have 6.3 grams of fat and 150.5 calories. Here is the McDonalds menu nutrition information. By my calculations, based on McDonalds data, a 70-gram serving of McDonalds fries would have 227 calories and 11.4 grams of fat. So the numbers do seem to add up.
How does this work? Its a matter of engineering. You may think of French fries as a simple matter of potatoes meeting fat at high temperatures. But theres an intervening force in many French fries, especially those that are produced on an industrial scale: a coating, a batter that can add or lock in flavor. And the innovation here, which took 10 years of research and development on two continents, is in the batter. Theres something about the makeup of the batter that ensures the potatoes absorb less oil even while producing the desired crispy/fluffy contrast between outside and inside.
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