Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are the latest fast food chains to announce health-positive changes are coming soon to their menus.
"Black pepper flavor" will be removed from Taco Bell's seasoned beef, Yellow No. 6 from the nacho cheese, as well as Blue No. 1 and carmine (a bright pigment) from other menu items. High fructose corn syrup and palm oil will also be removed from their products. New recipes including these changes are currently being tested and, if all goes as planned, will be in stores nationally by the close of 2015. The company, which is owned by Yum Brands Inc., has also said it will remove artificial preservatives "where possible" by 2017.
As for Pizza Hut, they will be making changes sooner. Their menu will be free of artificial colors and flavors by the end of July.
While removing these ingredients from their food may create a "healthy glow," decreasing portion sizes or the amount of salt and sugar the food items contain would create a more healthful outcome, according to John Coupland, professor of food science at Penn State University.
More and more food distributors and chains are realizing they need to alter their food in order to stay relevant to consumers' desires. Kraft is nixing synthetic coloring and artificial preservatives from their original mac and cheese. And fast food chains like Wendy's and McDonald's have also vowed to improve their kids' meals by removing soda as a beverage option.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
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Image: Taco bell sign via Shutterstock