Asda to cut artificial additives from foodSome products will lose their bright colours

22 December 2007

A supermarket chain is cutting artificial additives from all its own-brand food and soft drinks.

Asda is clearing some 9,000 products of all E numbers, aspartame and hydrogenated vegetable oil.

The artificial colours and flavourings will be phased out of own-brand food and soft drinks on sale at the chain by the end of March.

It will mean some products losing the bright colours for which they are well known, Asda warned.

Bright colours

For example, tinned peas will be a paler colour due to the removal of E102 which makes them look bright green.

And glace cherries will lose their brightness due to the removal of the E127 red colouring.

Flavours and colours used in Asda products will instead come from named natural sources, including herbs and spices.

Andy Adcock, head of Asda brand, said: 'We are delighted to be the first UK food retailer to deliver this pledge and are proud to begin the New Year as we mean to go on.

'We have invested a huge amount of time and effort into redeveloping our ranges because we truly believe this is the right thing to do for customers.'

Customer tests

The chain said all products affected by the changes had been tested by customers and staff to ensure taste, texture and appearance were still acceptable.

Sainsbury's said all its own-brand soft drinks were now additive-free following the removal of artificial colours from its lime cordial.

The chain has removed quinoline yellow (E104) and Green S (E142) from the drink, making it less vivid in colour but with the same taste.

The chain's lime cordial is now coloured only with its lime juice content.

Soft drinks

Sainsbury's head of product technology Cathy Port said: 'We have now removed all artificial colours and flavours from our soft drinks range - lime cordial completes the move.

'Lime cordial was by far the biggest challenge to maintain the colour using natural alternatives.'

Artificial sweeteners aspartame and sodium saccharin have also been removed from the drink's recipe.

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