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Dunkin' Donuts Nixing Controversial Ingredient From Its Doughnuts

Titanium dioxide is what makes the powdered sugar doughnuts so white.

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Soon to be titanium dioxide-free.
Soon to be titanium dioxide-free.
J. Stone/Shutterstock

The snowy-white powdered sugar doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts will soon be undergoing a change. The chain has agreed to drop titanium dioxide from its doughnuts following pressure from an advocacy group, reports USA Today. The substance serves as a whitening agent and is used in the powdered sugar that some of Dunkin's doughnuts are topped with.

As You Sow, which identifies itself as "a non-profit foundation promoting environmental and social corporate responsibility," asked the company to cut back on its usage of titanium dioxide, claiming it's "a 'nanomaterial' — a substance engineered to have extremely small dimensions, which the advocacy group claims can be toxic to humans." Dunkin' says the ingredient doesn't fit the nanomaterial criteria as laid out by the FDA, but nonetheless has agreed to phase out its usage.

Dunkin' is just the latest chain to phase out an ingredient following consumer pressure: Last year Subway removed a so-called "yoga mat chemical" from its bread after a blogger's petition went viral, and earlier this month McDonald's announced it would stop selling chicken treated with antibiotics.

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