Kraft Dinner to remove synthetic colours by 2016, company says

ABOVE: The iconic Kraft Dinner recipe will change next year. As Sean O’Shea reports, the company is going from synthetic to natural colouring and preservatives.

TORONTO – Kraft is promising its signature macaroni and cheese dish will no longer be made with synthetic colours in Canada. Instead, Kraft Dinner’s iconic orange hue will come from natural ingredients like paprika and turmeric.

The swap to using natural ingredients is slated for the end of next year in KD Original. In the U.S., Kraft’s mac & cheese product will be free of synthetic colours and artificial preservatives and flavours – that’s already the case in Canada.

KD Smart and KD Boxed Shapes – in alphabet and underwater shapes – are already preservatives- and synthetic colouring-free in Canada. KD Original is the latest product to adjust its ingredients list.

READ MORE: 6 misconceptions about nutrition and healthy eating

Kathy Murphy, Kraft Canada’s spokesperson, told Global News the change won’t affect taste, though.

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“All of the ingredients must work together to deliver the distinctive taste, appearance and texture consumers expect and love from Kraft Dinner,” she said in an email.

“Our fans have made it clear they won’t settle for anything less and neither will we,” she said.

She said the preservatives-free products already existed in Canada as early as 2010 and that the company’s latest move isn’t in response to an online petition.

READ MORE: Canadians join crusade to remove orange dyes from Kraft Dinner

In March 2013, tens of thousands of Canadians joined a growing movement urging Kraft Foods to remove the controversial dyes that colour the mac and cheese dish a glowing orange in the popular comfort food.

At the centre of the controversy were Yellow #5 – also called tartrazine, and found in the Canadian product – and Yellow #6, included in the American box.

Some 365,800 people signed the petition on

Food bloggers Vani Hari and Lisa Leake began the petition after they say they discovered the dyes are already banned in many countries – The United Kingdom, Norway and Austria, for example.

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