Dunkin’ Donuts has revealed that it is testing alternatives to titanium dioxide, a whitening agent used in the powdered sugar in some of its doughnuts.
As You Sow, a non-profit foundation based in Oakland, CA which had submitted the request, has reported on its website that it has withdrawn the request in response to the commitment from Canton, MA-based Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.
“Dunkin’ has demonstrated strong industry leadership by removing this potentially harmful ingredient from its donuts,” said Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel for As You Sow, adding, “Engineered nanomaterials are beginning to enter the food supply, despite not being proven safe for consumption. Dunkin’ has made a decision to protect its customers and its bottom line by avoiding use of an unproven and potentially harmful ingredient.”
While As You Sow described titanium dioxide as a “whitening agent that is commonly a source of nanomaterials,” Dunkin’ argued that it is not a “nanoparticle” as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands told USA Today that they began testing alternative formulations for this product in 2014, and they “are in the process of rolling out a solution to the system that does not contain titanium dioxide.”
As You Sow indicated that its next step is to pressure other doughnut manufacturers to stop using the whitening agent.