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updated: 5/18/2017 12:13 PM

McDonald's says it removed artificial flavor from soft serve

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NEW YORK -- McDonald's says it removed artificial flavor from its vanilla soft-serve dessert.

The chain says it started switching to natural vanilla flavor last fall, and the rollout is nearly complete at its more than 14,000 U.S. locations. McDonald's announced the change Wednesday. The soft-serve already had no artificial colors or preservatives.

McDonald's says a regular size soft-serve cone is still 200 calories. The company has made tweaks before that have increased the calorie count, but did not detail them. The cone was listed at 170 calories as recently as 2015.

The chain also noted that it switched from high-fructose corn syrup to sugar for its chocolate and strawberry syrups.

Food companies have made many changes to their ingredients in recent years to address customer demand for more natural products.

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