Asda To Phase Out Artificial Colours And Flavours

British supermarket chain Asda has announced plans to remove all artificial colours and flavours from all of its private label food and beverage products .
The decision by Asda is the retailer’s biggest indication to date of the shift towards natural ingredients in place of artificial additives.
The WalMart-owned company has acted quickly in removing artificial additives from its products after if was found that they may increase the risk of hyperactivity and unruly behaviour in young children .
Asda’s pledge means that none of the supermarket’s 9,000 own label food and soft drinks products will contain any artificial colours or flavours, aspartame, hydrogenated fat or flavour enhancers, such as monosodium glutamate, by the end of this year.
They will also meet the Food Standards Agency’s salt reduction targets, more than two years ahead of the 2010 deadline, according to the retailer.
The alterations will cost the company over £30 million on reformulation, while Asda also stressed that the taste of its products will not be affected. Artificial flavours will be replaced by natural alternatives.
Darren Blackhurst, director of food trading at Asda said: “We know that our customers, particularly those that are mums and dads, are becoming more and more concerned about what’s in the food that they buy .”
“We want to make life easier and healthier for them and their families by stripping out the ‘nasties’ from all our own label food and soft drinks, so they can have complete confidence that no colours or flavours are being used that aren’t needed, and, where they are, they’re 100 per cent natural .”
“In the vast majority of cases, we’ll be able to achieve this without any impact on the taste of our products,” he added.
Asda says it is the first UK supermarket to remove all artificial additives from its private label ranges.
However other rival retailers have taken some measures in the past, such as Marks and Spencer and Tesco, who have both previously published lists or rankings of ingredients to eliminate from its products .

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