Food companies changing ingredients in wake of scrutiny

Associated Press Published:

Food and beverage companies are under increasing pressure to remove unfamiliar ingredients from their products as consumers go online to criticize the formulations of some products.

Starbucks last year removed cochineal extract, a red dye made from crushed bugs, from its food and drinks after an online petition. The company says the decision was the result of customer feedback it received through "a variety of means."

Earlier this year, PepsiCo removed brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade. An online petition had noted the ingredient's link to flame retardants. PepsiCo said the decision was the result of broader customer feedback.

Kraft Foods says it will reformulate select varieties of its macaroni and cheese next year to use natural colors. A petition by a popular food blogger had asked the company to remove the artificial dyes. Kraft says the reformulation is a part of an ongoing push to improve the overall nutrition of its products.

Chick-fil-A has been removing artificial dyes and high-fructose corn syrup from dressings and sauces. The company says people are becoming more aware of ingredients and that it expects to continue making changes.

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