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Food & Drink

Hershey kisses artificial flavors goodbye in some chocolates

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FILE: The candy company says its milk chocolate Hershey’s Kisses and bars are now being made with flavor from real vanilla instead of an artificial flavor. (AP)

Hershey wants to keep the ingredients list on two of its famous chocolates short and sweet.

The candy company said this week that its milk chocolate Hershey’s Kisses and bars are now being made with flavor from real vanilla instead of an artificial flavor.

The change is the first part of The Hershey Co.’s previously announced plans to use simpler ingredients. Many food companies are removing artificial flavors, colors and ingredients to please consumers demanding less processed foods.

Hershey said the updated chocolates started shipping a few weeks ago and are at stores — or will be — as they restock their shelves.

Customers will see “natural flavor” on the ingredients list instead of vanillin, the artificial ingredient that used to give the chocolates their vanilla flavor. Lactose, a sugar in milk, will also be removed from both chocolates. Hershey has also banished PGPR, which makes chocolate flow better in a manufacturing plant, from the bars. Instead, it is adding more cocoa butter to produce the right texture. The Kisses did not have PGPR.

In February, the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company announced it would be going through its products to simplify ingredients, a process that could take years.