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Unhealthy Ingredients Aldi Is Removing From Their Brand Foods

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Aldi announced it is removing some unhealthy ingredients from its exclusive brand foods. The unhealthy ingredients are certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) and added monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Aldi says it started to remove these and 125 other unhealthy ingredients in 2014 and anticipates that all will be gone by the end of 2015.

Unhealthy Ingredients Removed

Aldi had this to say about each unhealthy ingredient:
Certified synthetic colors are additives that are certified by the FDA eat clean no unhealthy ingredientsfor use in food products. ALDI will be replacing synthetic color additives with plant-based ingredients, such as beet juice, paprika and turmeric.

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer added to foods. Currently, approximately 96 percent of ALDI exclusive brand products have no added MSG.

PHOs (partially hydrogenated oils) removal will occur well ahead of the Food and Drug Administration’s recently announced mandate for US food manufacturers to remove the ingredient by 2018.

Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi stated “Our decision to remove these ingredients from all of our exclusive brand foods delivers on our ongoing commitment to meet the evolving preferences of our customers.”

Information about reformulated products will be highlighted by updated packaging, in the Aldi Fresh catalog, advertisements, social media and at Aldi Simply Smarter Living Blog.

Dietician Picks

Aldi also began this year Dietician Picks. which features products with higher nutritional value. The Picks are made by Aldi Advisory Council of five dietitian partners. Picks include items that are organic, gluten-free, fresh meat, fresh produce and kid-friendly. Here is a complete list of Aldi Dietician Picks.

Packaging Changes

Aldi is also changing brand labelling in order to highlight nutritional information on the front of the package. We recommend being careful. The nutrition label is the only place nutritional information is required. The rest of the package is really marketing. Learn more about general food packaging terms and here for livestock, poultry and pigs.

FDA nutrition labelReading labels and not being confused or even misguided by packaging can be difficult.

Just look at the FDA guide for reading food labels

or the American Heart Associations nutrition label guide.

Aldi reports that 90% of its sales are from its exclusive store brands. Removing unhealthy ingredients is good news. However there are many more unhealthy ingredients to avoid to eat healthy. The US food industry still has a long way to go compared to Europe. Look at unhealthy ingredients banned in Europe but not the US.

US big food usually cites increased expense when attempts are made to ban items. However, if big food wants to sell something, they can comply. This article shows the ingredient list of the same items sold in the US and in Europe. Every list is shorter for European items. Unhealthy ingredients are primarily added to increase shelf life, act as a filler or for texture, stability or color. Are these the factors we want deciding what goes into the food we eat.

Do you shop at Aldi? Have you experienced any of these changes? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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