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Kraft is pledging to remove synthetic colouring from its Canadian Kraft Dinner Original product by the end of 2016.

This year will mark the last that the original version of Kraft Mac & Cheese, sold in the U.S., will contain artificial preservatives or synthetic colours.

In January, Kraft said its macaroni and cheese would be coloured using paprika, annatto and turmeric.

There has been a huge shift away from processed foods in the U.S. and larger food producers are trying to follow their customers in that direction.

A Change.org petition that began in March 2013 asked Kraft to remove dyes from its macaroni and cheese. The petition garnered more than 365,000 signatures.

The company is already selling a product in the U.S., called Kraft Mac & Cheese Boxed Shapes, which has no artificial flavours, preservatives or synthetic colours.

Kraft said that its other macaroni and cheese varieties sold in the U.S., such as Shapes Cups, Original Cups, Premium Flavours and Easy Mac, will have no artificial flavours, preservatives or synthetic colours by next year.

The company said that it has worked for some time to make the changes to the product, but had to ensure that customers would not notice a change in taste.

"We weren't ready to change the product until we were confident that Kraft Macaroni & Cheese tastes like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese," the company said.

Kraft Foods Group Inc. is based in Northfield, Illinois.

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