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Kraft is adjusting the recipes in three varieties of macaroni and cheese – the artificial dyes in the comfort food will be removed.
According to the Associated Press, the most popular plain, elbow-shaped macaroni and cheese will remain the same. However, three new varieties, including the shaped noodles of SpongeBob Squarepants, Halloween and winter shapes, will change. Kraft has been working on a recipe that will replace the artificial dyes with spices such as paprika to keep the yellow color of the food.
Although it's unknown whether Kraft will adjust the recipes of the other macaroni and cheese varieties eventually, Kraft Food Group Inc.'s vice president of marketing for meals Triona Schmelter claimed that, “We'll continue to make improvement where we can.” Along with removing the artificial dyes, the new recipes will make other strides towards healthier options – including using whole grain pasta and reducing the amount of sodium and saturated fat.
A petition started back in March on Change.org to remove artificial dyes from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which has reached almost 350,000 signatures. However, while Kraft acknowledges that there is a growing market for healthier food choices without artificial dyes, they claim the petition was not a factor in the decision to adjust the recipes.
Good Morning America reports that in the United Kingdom, Kraft already uses paprika and beta carotene instead of artificial additives in their macaroni and cheese recipes because of stricter additive regulations in the country.
The artificial dyes in the macaroni and cheese recipes, yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6, don't affect the taste, but they can cause health risks, including hyperactivity, allergies, migraines and even cancer. Both ingredients are approved by the FDA, however.
Changes are being made in all kinds of foods to accommodate the growing interest in removing artificial food dyes. Renee Shutters from New York even started a petition to remove the artificial dyes from M&M's candy.
Image: Wikimedia Commons