Titanium oxide formula
The glazed and colorful donuts on the shelves at Dunkin’ Donuts somehow have a perfect, plasticky feel — and the powdered donuts are so white you could be eating snow from fake food heaven (this is, strangely enough, part of what makes them so appetizing).
It’s likely that Dunkin’ Donuts, like a lot of fast food companies, pumps preservatives and chemicals into their food, giving it the unreal quality as described above. But the company has recently announced that it will be taking the first step in removing potentially harmful toxins from its food: titanium dioxide will no longer be placed in its powdered sugar.
The food coloring agent is used to make white powdered sugar even whiter and brighter, is often used in toothpaste, and has been a controversial ingredient for quite some time. After pressure from an advocacy group known as As You Sow, Dunkin’ Donuts has agreed to remove it due to its potential toxicity — in a transformative moment that highlights the company’s desire to be a part of the new health wave, and be more self-aware. Dunkin’ has announced that it has been testing other powdered sugar formulas and will be “rolling out a solution” as soon as it’s complete.
“Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of the Dunkin’ Donuts chain, has agreed to remove titanium dioxide, a whitening agent that is commonly a source of nanomaterials, from all powdered sugar used to make the company’s donuts, ” As You Sow states in a release. “As a result of this progress, the advocacy group As You Sow has withdrawn a shareholder proposal asking Dunkin’ to assess and reduce the risks of using nanomaterials in its food products.”
As You Sow, a non-profit company that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder proposals, had conducted independent lab tests on Dunkin’ donuts in 2013, then been in talks with the company to convince them to remove titanium dioxide for some time afterwards. About 19 percent of Dunkin' Donuts' shareholders agreed to the company removing the chemical.
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