Monday 5 December 2016

10 disgusting things we learned about Hot Chicken Rolls on RTE

Published 31/03/2016 | 14:22

Hot Chicken Roll. Photo Credit: RTE What Are You Eating?
Hot Chicken Roll. Photo Credit: RTE What Are You Eating?

A new RTE programme has garnered a horror reaction from viewers after exposing exactly what is within Ireland’s lunchtime staple, the hot chicken roll.

  • Go To

Last night’s episode of ‘What Are You Eating?’ lifted the lid on Ireland’s love of convenience foods, with a particular focus on the country’s deli favourite.

The programme revealed that Ireland is one of the largest consumers of chickens in the EU (gobbling up 45,000 birds every two hours) but paid particular focus to the processed poultry Irish people are eating each day.

“Chicken fillet rolls are a statement of all that is wrong with industrialised food,” said food writer John McKenna, who featured on the show.

Viewers tweeted in their numbers during the show and said their attitudes towards their lunchtime roll had been altered by the facts.

10 disgusting things we learned about the hot chicken roll

• An astonishing amount of chicken found in the lunchtime favourite is imported.

“Chicken could come from China, Argentina, Indonesia, Ireland or anywhere else in the European Union,” revealed Raymond O’Rourke of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland.

Presenter Philip Boucher Hayes was disgusted by the ingredients added to deli chicken
Presenter Philip Boucher Hayes was disgusted by the ingredients added to deli chicken

There is also no demand on a producer to display to customers where their chicken is coming from.

• The bread alone will cost you 400 calories.

• The average chicken fillet roll contains 5 grams of salt. “That’s more salt than our bodies would need in one day from that chicken roll alone,” revealed dietitian Janis Morrissey from The Irish Heart Foundation.

• Did you ever think about how long that sauce has been sitting there?

"What condiments have been added to your roll and how old are they," asked John McKenna.

• The average hot chicken roll is a whopping 1000 calories, which equates to three and a half Cadbury Dairy Milk Bars.

• Chicken rolls may or may not contain actual breast meat (or leg meat, or wing meat).

• Premium cuts of chicken (the breasts, the wings and the legs) are removed and the remaining trimmings are blended together. “What you’re left with is a mixture of gross texture,” revealed chef Hilary O’Hagan.

• To bulk out the scraps additives are included such as Triphosphate, Diphosphate, Wheat Protein, Rice Flour, Pea Fibre, Pea Starch, Potato Starch and water which means the quantity doubles in size.

"These give texture, bulk and flavour to the pulverised chicken"

• Sugar, onion oil and garlic oil are added to the chicken for flavour

• It does not compare to real chicken. Presenter Philip Boucher Hayes taste tested two chicken fillets, one made of chicken breast and one commercially available in delis.

“The deli option is rubbery and sticks to the roof of my mouth. It crumbles to a kind of a powder. The only thing I’m tasting is breadcrumb which is quite nice but chicken it ain’t," he said.

• There’s a reason it’s so cheap. “There’s a moral question about the food that we’re eating and how it’s being produced so cheaply.”

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Life