Asda drops artificial additives from own brandsChanges will affect 9,000 products

15 May 2007

A supermarket chain is removing all artificial colours and flavours from its own-label food and drinks.

Asda said the recipe changes would affect some of its 9,000 products by the end of this year.

It is spending more than £30 million on re-formulating the own-label goods.

Phased out

Aspartame, hydrogenated fat and flavour enhancers such as monosodium glutamate are some of the ingredients being phased out.

E-number colours will either be replaced with natural alternatives such as fruit and vegetable extracts or dropped entirely.

Artificial flavours will also be substituted by natural ingredients where possible.

Sucralose

For example, the sweetener aspartame will be replaced by sucralose which is made from sugar, Asda said.

The chain is also cutting the salt content of its own-brand products, in line with Food Standards Agency targets.

Asda food trading director Darren Blackhurst said all colours and flavours used in the chain's own-brand products would be 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 said.

Rival supermarket chain Sainsbury's last month pledged to remove all artificial colours and flavours from some 120 varieties of its own-brand soft drinks.

The Press Association, All Rights Reserved.