The fast-food giant has disclosed the cinematic secrets around a laborious process called “food-styling”, which makes burgers appear bigger, juicier and tastier in public. In a video posted online, it showed how technicians, photographers and McDonald’s executives spend hours ensuring the products are presented with absolute precision. It lifts the lid on a McDonald’s photo shoot that shows how they shrink cheese and shade the buns using Photoshop. The candid approach, part of a project launched by its Canadian operations to increase transparency, has surprised some retail observers who have noted the surprising move could disclose some of its most sought-after trade secrets. But it also raises questions that its images are being doctored as part of its multi-million pound public relations campaigns. The subsequent tell-all video has, however, become a viral hit, having been viewed almost 400,000 thousand times since it was uploaded on YouTube earlier this week. The video was posted after a young customer asked “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?” While a burger bought in-store is made in about minute, the burger used in a photo shoot is constructed by a team of food stylists and photographers. The cheese is carefully blasted with a blowtorch to achieve the right level of melted-ness, onion slices are positioned with surgical precision and ketchup and mustard then added using a syringe. The image is then retouched to “finesse the product” with the sesame seeds repositioned on top and any errant crumbs removed. Once photographed, the picture of the burger is tweaked digitally, with other blemishes airbrushed out in a similar way to a fashion shoot.