Tartrazine in Mac and Cheese, Ingredients in Pringles: Food Differences Between U.S. and U.K

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Pringles original flavor chips have different ingredients, depending on their location. Click for larger view. Image by Decoded Science

Food Additives in the U.S. vs. the U.K.

In the United Kingdom, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are not allowed in food products, so Kraft makes the same product using natural beta carotene and paprika, according to ABC News. Two women, Lisa Leak and Vani Hari, both food bloggers, found out that Kraft makes the same product, only without artificial dyes for the United Kingdom and taste-tested both versions of the product. According to the bloggers, there was no difference in taste or color, although Leak’s children said that they liked the UK version better.

Kraft isn’t Alone

Other companies also use artificial colors in the U.S. and natural coloring in the U.K. – such as Kelloggs’ Nutri-Grain Bars. The bars  contain Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1 in the U.S. but the UK version contains: beetroot red, annatto, and paprika extract, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Check the above graphic for screenshots taken from the two Pringles sites, one in the U.S. and one in the U.K – with different ingredients for the same product. McDonald’s french fires in the U.K. contain potatoes, oil, and salt. In the U.S., however, according to McDonald’s website, french fries have three different preservatives added.

What You Can Do

The only reason artificial food dyes are used is to enhance the look of the food. These dyes do not provide any nutritional value at all. If you would like to tell Kraft to stop adding artificial dyes in the U.S. version of macaroni and cheese, then you can visit Change.org and sign the petition. Petitions aside, consumers concerned about food additives or other ingredients such as genetically-modified food products, can ‘vote with their pocketbook’ – avoid purchasing foods that contain unhealthy components.

Resources:

FDA. Labeling Declaration for FD&C Yellow No. 6 and FD&C Yellow No. 5; Amendment of Standard of Identity for Cheese Product. (1995). Federal Register Volume 60, Number 140.

FDA. Permanent listing of FD&C Yellow No. 6; final rule. 51: 41765-
41783. (1986). Federal Register.

ABC News. Mom Bloggers Want Yellow Dye Out of Kraft Mac and Cheese. (2013). Accessed March 7, 2013.

Center for Science in the Public Interest. Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks. (2010). Accessed March 7, 2013.

Change.org. Petition: Kraft Stop Using Dangerous Food Dyes in our Mac and Cheese. (2013). Accessed March 7, 2013.

McDonald’s. Nutrition. Accessed March 7, 2013.

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