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Milk producer to ax disputed ingredient

| Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

WhiteWave Foods said it will remove an ingredient from Horizon milks and Silk beverages in response to customer feedback.

Carrageenan, a seaweed extract that is used as a thickener and emulsifier, will be phased out from Horizon and Silk products over time, said Sara Loveday, a company spokeswoman. The ingredient has been the subject of criticism in some circles, with food advocates pointing to animal studies that suggest it causes gastrointestinal inflammation.

Loveday said WhiteWave still thinks carrageenan is safe but decided to remove it because customer feedback has been so strong.

It's the latest example of a food maker removing an ingredient customers found objectionable. Regardless of whether an ingredient is safe, food makers are finding themselves under pressure from growing customer sensitivities about ingredients.

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