Natural and organic meat specialist Applegate is removing a controversial ingredient from its poultry deli meat products.

Applegate, a Hormel Foods brand, is taking carrageenan out of the meats, despite a recent United States Department of Agriculture reversal on banning the ingredient, a seaweed extract, from organic foods and beverages.

In addition to removing carrageenan from its products, Applegate is enhancing its deli ham varieties and introducing a new packaging design. Changes are beginning now and will continue throughout the year.

"We're proud to be a brand that not only listens to consumer feedback, but a brand that takes action on that feedback," says Nicole Glenn, Applegate’s vice president of marketing. "Carrageenan is an ingredient Applegate consumers said they wanted removed from our poultry deli meat, so when we developed a way to replace it and improve the taste of those varieties, it was an easy decision to move forward with a carrageenan-free recipe."

Improvements to Applegate’s ham products include an improved taste and texture and a more natural shape with the slow-cooked ham varieties (no longer rectangular).