1 Dec 2016

Big Mac inventor dies

1:10 pm on 1 December 2016

The creator of the world famous Big Mac burger has died, aged 98.

Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac almost 50 years ago, when he was running McDonald's restaurants in the American state of Pennsylvania.

"The first day we just used the regular bun, we didn't have any centre [bread] slice," Delligatti told Reuters in 2007.

"Making it that way made it very sloppy. The next day we put the centre slice in, and today it looks the same."

The burger spread quickly throughout the chain after McDonald's introduced it nationally in 1968.

McDonald's says it sells about 550 million Big Macs around the world a year.

As well as its size, the burger is also famed for its so-called "secret sauce".

The sauce is known to contain ingredients such as salted egg yolks, mustard, onion, garlic and relish, but recreating the exact mix is a challenge.

A bottle of it was auctioned off last year, attracting bids of more than £12,000.

While Mr Delligatti lived to 98, the burger isn't traditionally associated with health.

In New Zealand, the Big Mac contains 2070 kilojoules (or 494 calories) and contains 25.9g of fat, 5.6g of sugar and 966mg of sodium.

The burger is sold in more than 100 countries around the world.

After inventing the burger, Mr Delligatti went on to run 48 McDonald's branches, making him one of the biggest franchisees in the company's history.

In 2007 he opened the Big Mac Museum, where visitors can be photographed in front of the world's largest Big Mac - which is more than 4m wide.

He passed away on Monday night in Pittsburgh, surrounded by his family.

-BBC