Posts Tagged ‘ food additives ’

Kraft to Remove Yellow Dyes from Some Macaroni & Cheese Boxes

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Kraft Foods has announced that it will remove Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, two food dyes that give its famous Macaroni & Cheese its iconic yellow color, from its 2014 character-shaped product line.  The move comes after a petition bearing more than 50,000 signatures asked the company to remove the dyes to protect kids’ health.  The petition cited research linking the artificial dyes with ailments from migraine headaches to asthma.  More on Kraft’s announcement from CNN.com:

Kraft has revamped its character-shaped product line for 2014, according to company spokeswoman Lynne Galia. The new versions will have six additional grams of whole grains, be lower in sodium and saturated fat, and will use spices instead of artificial food dyes to recreate the pasta’s famous yellow-orange color.

“Parents have told us that they would like fun Mac & Cheese varieties with the same great taste, but with improved nutrition,” Galia said in an e-mail.

The company will remove Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 from boxes containing pasta shaped like SpongeBob SquarePants and those with Halloween and winter shapes. Two new shapes of the popular pasta — Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ from Dreamworks — will also be free of food coloring, Galia said.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest hailed Kraft’s decision on Friday. Michael Jacobson, the center’s executive director, said he is pleased with the announcement but is “puzzled” as to why Kraft would not change its iconic elbow-shaped macaroni product as well.

“As Kraft has today shown, it is clearly possible to make macaroni and cheese without these harmful chemicals,” Jacobson said in a statement.

Image: Yellow macaroni and cheese, via Shutterstock

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FDA Warning Changes Feeding Treatment for Some Premature Babies

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against a common thickener used to help premature babies better consume and digest their food.  The warning states that SimplyThick has a risk of causing necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a life-threatening condition that damages intestinal tissue.  More from The New York Times:

An F.D.A. investigation of 84 cases, published in The Journal of Pediatrics in 2012, found a “distinct illness pattern” in 22 instances that suggested a possible link between SimplyThick and NEC. Seven deaths were cited; 14 infants required surgery.

Last September, after more adverse events were reported, the F.D.A. warned that the thickener should not be given to any infants. But the fact that SimplyThick was widely used at all in neonatal intensive care units has spawned a spate of lawsuits and raised questions about regulatory oversight of food additives for infants.

SimplyThick is made from xanthan gum, a widely-used food additive on the F.D.A.’s list of substances “generally recognized as safe.” SimplyThick is classified as a food and the F.D.A. did not assess it for safety.

John Holahan, president of SimplyThick, which is based in St. Louis, acknowledged that the company marketed the product to speech language pathologists who in turn recommended it to infants. The patent touted its effectiveness in breast milk.

However, Mr. Holahan said, “There was no need to conduct studies, as the use of thickeners overall was already well established. In addition, the safety of xanthan gum was already well established.”

Image: Infant holding a bottle, via Shutterstock

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