The mysterious shape
But how does the McRib look like a rack of ribs when there are no ribs?!
Turns out, the secret sauce behind this sandwich isn’t the sauce, it’s the McRib shaping technology. Roger Mandigo, a University of Nebraska emeritus science professor, created the technology that makes the McRib’s iconic shape possible. The man’s a genius.
Using salt to extract proteins from the meat, Mandigo used these proteins as an emulsifier. At this point, the meat can be formed into any shape you want. Machines press the meat into the iconic slab-of-ribs shape, much like how you shape pasta or a burger. Modest Mandigo insists he wanted the sandwich to look like a pork chop, so it’s Chef Arend that still gets credited with the rack-o-ribs idea.