Starbucks Ditches Controversial Beetle Extract

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SEATTLE — Starbucks has announced its swapping the cochineal extract used in its Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino drinks (and other products) for a tomato-based extract called lycopene.

“Our expectation is to be fully transitioned to lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, in the strawberry sauce (base) used in our Strawberries-and-Crème-Frappuccino-blended beverage and Strawberry Banana Smoothie,” reads a statement by Cliff Burrows, Starbucks’ U.S. “Likewise, we are transitioning away from the use of cochineal extract in our food offerings, which currently contain it.” Such food products are the chain’s Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

Starbucks came under fire last month when it was revealed the company was using cochineal extract for its pink-coloured beverages and products. Vegans launched a petition to have the ingredient removed.

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