NORTHFIELD, ILL. — As more companies buckle to consumer pressure over the use of controversial ingredients, Kraft Foods Group announced it has removed artificial preservatives from its Kraft Singles individually wrapped cheese slices.

The reformulated cheese products include American and White American flavors, but not the 2% milk varieties, and are now available in the dairy section of grocery stores nationwide.

“We know families today want convenient foods that have no artificial preservatives and a simpler, more recognizable ingredient list, and Kraft is working to deliver more of these options for some of our most beloved brands,” said Brian Gelb, senior associate brand manager for Kraft Foods. “Kraft is excited to deliver the same great tasting American cheese it always has with Kraft Singles — always made with real cheese, milk and no artificial flavors — and now with no artificial preservatives. It’s just simpler this way, and it’s the way cheese fans want it.”

Now made without sorbic acid as a preservative, the recipe tweak took Kraft about five years to achieve the taste and shelf life without the use of artificial preservatives, according to an Associated Press report.

The announcement follows Kraft’s November pledge to eliminate artificial yellow food dyes out of its character-based shaped varieties of macaroni and cheese sold in boxes starting in 2014. The company instead will use colors derived from spices such as paprika, annatto and turmeric. A petition on asking Kraft to take artificial food dyes out of its macaroni and cheese products had accumulated more than 348,000 signatures by Oct. 31, 2013.

Earlier this month, Subway found itself under similar scrutiny when it revealed plans to remove azodicarbonamide, a dough conditioner, from its bread. The sandwich chain said it had begun the process to eliminate the additive, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, before petitions urged the change.