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Starbucks To End Use Of Crushed Insects In Drinks

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Starbucks went into PR mode after customers learned that the company has been using cochineal extract derived from a tiny insect to add color to Frappuccinos. Apparently the dye is created by pulverizing the insect, which has angered vegan customers while grossing out others. This prompted Starbucks President Cliff Burrows to make the following announcement yesterday:

After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible. Our expectation is to be fully transitioned to lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, in the strawberry sauce (base) used in our Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino blended beverage and Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Likewise, we are transitioning away from the use of cochineal extract in our food offerings which currently contain it (Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie). This transition will occur over time as we finalize revisions and manage production. Our intention is to be fully transitioned from existing product inventories to revised food and beverage offerings near the end of June across the U.S.

Apparently the cochineal extract was used to avoid artificial coloring agents.

(SeattlePI.com via The Consumerist)

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