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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Nestle Leads Removal of Food Color from US Candy Products

By Michael McBurney

According to market research conducted by Nielsen, 60% of Americans say that the presence of artificial food colors affects their buying decision. This may explain Nestle USA decision to remove artificial colors (Red 40 and Yellow 5) from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

As discussed before in TalkingNutrition, the science associating food dyes with hyperactivity isn’t very robust. The strongest evidence comes from the Southampton study published in 2007. However, the Nestle announcement has galvanized consumers and their advocates. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking Mars to follow suit by eliminating artificial food dyes from their M&M’s

In Europe, food products with azo dyes were required to add warning labels effective July 2010. For the most part, food and beverage companies have replaced azo dyes with plant-based food colorants in Europe.  Based on consumer demand, not robust scientific evidence, the US market is starting to remove artificial food colors.

Main Citation

McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, Crumpler D, Dalen L, Grimshaw K, Kitchin E, Lok K, Porteous L, Prince E, Sonuga-Barke S, Warner JO, Stevenson J. Food additives and hyperactive behavior in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. 2007 Lancet doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61306-3