McCAIN FOODS FAQs

Frequently asked questions about our products and our company

McCain is primarily a frozen foods company, but we offer non-frozen products as well. The company makes dehydrated potato products such as potato flakes (instant mashed potatoes) and potato granules in several facilities around the world.
Although we do have corporate farm operations to ensure a ready supply of quality potatoes, these provide only a small percentage of our needs. Most potatoes are grown by independent growers who contract with McCain for a supply of potatoes before planting the year's crop. McCain agronomists work closely with farmers to help them constantly improve the quality and yield of their crops.
Since 1999 McCain has abided by a policy of not using genetically modified potatoes in any of our products globally. This policy holds true today, but we also recognize that science holds the potential to address many of the issues that continue to challenge the world with respect to the sustainable production of affordable and nutritious food to meet the demands of a growing population. It is the positive potential of science that drives our continued interest in plant biotechnology, and as such, we actively monitor and may participate in research and development projects that seek to offer significant social benefits. Regulatory compliance and consumer acceptance for the use of any new technology will guide our actions.

Since 1999 McCain has abided by a policy of not using genetically modified potatoes in any of our products globally. We always strive to source non-GM ingredients wherever possible, though in some instances, for non-potato ingredients, a lack GM and non-GM segregation at the crop level means this cannot be guaranteed.

All ingredients used by McCain are safe and adhere to the relevant government requirements. We comply with regulations that mandate the labeling of genetically modified foods in regions of the world where such requirements exist.
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Making frozen McCain French fries today involves many steps in a modern manufacturing process designed to give the consumer the taste, texture and convenience they have learned to expect from the company. Learn about our process.
McCain's potato processing plants around the world have a total production capacity of more than one millions pounds of potato products an hour. McCain makes one third of all the frozen French fries produced in the world.
We use a relatively small amount of palm oil, and have reduced even this amount by 35% in the past five years. We are committed to source inputs to our manufacturing process that are produced in an ethically and environmentally sound and sustainable fashion and we apply the same standards of procurement to palm oil. We aim to purchase only certified sustainable palm oil, which we currently achieve by sourcing from suppliers who have committed to abide by the principles and practices of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), who are working toward RSPO certification or from those who adopt similarly rigorous and recognised standards for palm production.

McCain is committed to providing its customers and consumers with food they can trust to be safe, nutritious and great tasting. As a result, we have been working to address the issue of acrylamide since it was first discovered in food in 2002. We have a worldwide technical team managing the issue and we have been working proactively with international regulators and researchers on an ongoing basis.

McCain Foods is committed to continuing efforts to reduce the formation of acrylamide in our products by monitoring the latest research and assessing applicability.

We have made progress in reducing the formation of acrylamide by selecting the best potatoes, controlling storage and processing conditions, and by providing clear instructions on all retail and foodservice packaging for optimal cooking times and temperatures.

McCain has engaged industry and regulators in a number of countries and has contributed to the internationally recognized reduction recommendations outlined in the European Union’s Food Drink Europe “Acrylamide Toolbox” and the Codex Code of Practice.

McCain encourages its customers to follow cooking recommendations published either by EUPPA (European Potato Processors Association1) or FDA (US Food and Drugs Administration2), recommendations published on the following websites:
1www.goodfries.eu 2http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2013-D-0715-0001

As a result of the increasing levels of obesity and associated health risks, health consciousness has been on the rise among consumers. Today's consumers want healthy alternatives without compromising quality and taste. McCain is responding to our consumers and customers with an expanded range of Better For You product choices that are lower in fat, sugar and sodium. Visit our regional websites for information about products sold in your region

In 2003, we displayed leadership in North America by introducing French fries prepared in non-hydrogenated oils in order to lower the levels of trans fatty acids. Similar initiatives are underway at other company operations around the world. At the same time McCain is working closely with its customers to develop new product options for quick service restaurants.

Moderation in how much one eats and drinks, getting regular exercise and enough sleep, as well as reducing stress are all elements of managing one's health. We believe that all McCain products can be part of a nutritionally balanced diet and a healthy, active lifestyle.

Ultimately, it is the consumer who chooses what food he eats, how often and how much. As a responsible manufacturer of food products, McCain believes it should provide both a wide variety of product choices and the information consumers need to make their purchase decisions.

McCain product information may be found on individual McCain country sites as products vary from country to country. Visit our regional sites for information about products sold in your region.
No one really is sure about the origin of French fries. They became popular in France by the late 1800s, and there are also claims that they really originated in Belgium. American soldiers were introduced to them by French-speaking Belgians when they fought in Europe during Worl War I - and called them "French fries." It is even said that former U.S president Thomas Jefferson served "potatoes fried in the French manner" in the White house in the early 1800s. The British, of course, call French fries "chips", and England is the land of "fish and chips."
The vast majority of our frozen cold store estate is free from HFC refrigerants. The small percentage that isn't yet HFC free will be moving to natural gas refrigerant at the time of upgrade or replacement going forward.

​Sodium acid pyrophosphate (also known as disodium diphosphate) is a component of baking powder and is widely used in the food industry in a variety of applications.
We use it in McCain French fries to retain the natural color of the potatoes. Without it, potatoes would turn dark, just like an apple turns dark when you cut it and expose it to air.

​Levels of sugars naturally present in potatoes vary throughout the year and from variety-to-variety which, in turn, impacts the consistency of color in the final cooking process. Dextrose is therefore used during the blanching process to maintain color consistency and to replace any natural sugars lost during cooking.