Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it has no added colors, flavors or preservatives in any of the ingredients it uses to prepare its food (except for lemon and lime juices which can be used as preservatives, though Chipotle uses them only for taste). This applies to all Chipotle restaurants in the United States and does not include beverages. The accomplishment furthers the company’s mission to make better food accessible to everyone. Details about each of the company’s ingredients can be seen at http://www.chipotle.com/real.
Two years ago, the company began working to eliminate unnecessary additives and preservatives from the tortillas it uses to make burritos, tacos and chips. The new tortillas are now served in all the company's US restaurants, and were tested extensively in Chipotle restaurants around the country beginning in January. The new recipes for corn and flour tortillas now contain between two and five ingredients. For example, the new flour tortillas are made using only flour, water, canola oil, salt and yeast. The corn tortillas used for the chips are made only with corn masa flour and water.
Chipotle has long been a pioneer in serving better quality ingredients. This includes the use of local and organically grown produce when available and practical, dairy from cows raised on pasture and meats from animals raised without hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics. Additionally, none of the ingredients used in Chipotle’s food have been genetically modified. With the introduction of its new tortillas, the company now touts only 51 real ingredients used to prepare all of its food. This is in stark contrast to most other fast food chains where a single menu item can contain 40 or more ingredients — many of which are added flavors, colors, preservatives and other industrial additives.
Evidence of how confusing the distinction between artificial and natural additives can be is illustrated by looking at the ingredient statement from what is arguably fast food’s most popular offering: the French fry. Typical fast food French fries contain several ingredients including “natural beef flavor.” Even though it contains no beef, the “natural” beef designation can be used simply because the chemical is derived from plant material.