It’s true! There will now be actual pumpkin in Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. What won’t be in the PSL anymore is caramel color. What’s wrong with caramel color? Plenty. Caramel color is created in a laboratory by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperature, which produces the byproduct 4-Mel. A U.S government funded study found that feeding mice caramel coloring IV (which contained 4-Mel) increased their risk of developing lung cancer and leukemia, at every dosage level. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies 4-Mel as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. So I’d say it’s a very good thing that we are no longer putting caramel color in our bodies when we order a PSL!
More good news is that Starbucks has disclosed all of the ingredients on their website. Here are the ingredients in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte:
– Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin
Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color,
Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative),
– Whipped Cream (Light Whipping Cream [Cream, Mono and Diglycerides,
– Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium
Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid)
– Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove)
While it’s definitely a step in the right direction by removing the caramel color, I have a major problem with the milk Starbucks uses and also the fact that they use carrageenan. Starbucks does not use organic milk in their drinks. This is a problem because conventional milk is filled with gmo’s, hormones and loaded with chemicals. Carrageenan causes digestive problems and inflammation in the body.
Considering the Pumpkin Spice Latte is Starbucks top-selling seasonal drink of all time, I’m sure there was a savvy marketing strategy behind this decision from Starbucks. Now more than ever, people want to know more about what they are eating and drinking, and major food and beverage companies are responding by sharing any major changes to the formulas behind some of the biggest brands. Because of this, Starbucks will likely only gain fans by being more transparent about how the drink is made.