The bad news is many consumers have been eating some questionable – or at least unpronounceable – ingredients for years. The good news is, as consumers become more aware of what’s in their food and more vehement that the food industry make changes, many of those ingredients are getting the heave-ho.
Here’s a sampling of some of the recent changes:
• Kraft Foods says it’s removing artificial preservatives from its most popular varieties of “Singles” cheese slices. The company says the replacement of sorbic acid with natamycin is in response to consumer trends.
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• Subway said last week that it’s in the process of removing a chemical called azodicarbonamide from its breads, even though the ingredient is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration and used widely in other products. The chain told the AP about the change after it had been targeted by food blogger Vani Hari over the ingredient on her website, FoodBabe.com.
Subway has not provided a timeline of when it expects the ingredient to be out of its supply chain.
• Pizza Hut says it’s in the process of removing dinner rolls served at select restaurants that contain azodicarbonamide. Spokesman Doug Terfehr says the chain’s new head of research & development noticed the ingredient and decided to do away with it. He said the swapping out of the rolls should be complete in about three weeks.
• Chick-fil-A said in December that it was making a number of changes to its recipes to remove high-fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings. The company had also been targeted by Hari but said its changes were in the works for several years.
Kraft said in October that it would remove artificial dyes from three varieties of macaroni and cheese that come in kid-friendly shapes. The company said the decision wasn’t a response to a petition by Hari that had requested it stop using artificial dyes.
• PepsiCo said early last year it was removing brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade. The company said the decision was a response to consumer demand in general, rather than a petition on Change.org by a Mississippi teenager that asked for the removal.