Dunkin' Donuts Inc. restaurant in New York, U.S., on Feb. 24, 2014.
Dunkin' Donuts Inc. restaurant in New York, U.S., on Feb. 24, 2014. Bloomberg/Getty Images

Dunkin' Donuts Is Getting Rid of Titanium Dioxide in Its Food

Mar 10, 2015

Dunkin' Donuts has announced that its powdered sugar will no longer feature titanium dioxide — a whitening agent that also appears in sunscreen, toothpaste and paints — after an environmental nonprofit requested its removal from the chain's baked goods.

Dunkin' Donuts will reformulate its powdered sugar following advice from As You Sow, which raised fears regarding the toxicity of titanium dioxide when ingested as a "nanomaterial."

newsletter
The Brief NewsletterSign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample

However, there is no clear evidence that titanium dioxide is harmful to humans, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says as long as the colorant does not amount to 1% of any product, a label is not mandatory.

"The ingredient used in our powdered donuts does not meet the definition of 'nanomaterial' as outlined under FDA guidance," a Dunkin’ Donuts spokesperson told the Huffington Post.

"Nevertheless, we began testing alternative formulations for this product in 2014 and we are in the process of rolling out a solution to the system that does not contain titanium dioxide."

Dunkin' Donuts says the move will not change the appearance of its products.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.