Kraft is going “all natural” with Dairylea after an 18-month reformulation quest enabled it to strip back the cheese to seven ingredients, down from 12 three years ago.

The new recipe contains just skimmed milk, cheese, butter, whey powder, lemon juice, milk proteins and baking soda. Kraft has managed to replace emulsifying salts - a key ingredient previously needed to create cheese with a creamy, spreadable texture - with a combination of lemon juice and baking soda without compromising the taste or texture.

Marketing manager Bruce Newman said the new “all natural” recipe was the latest move in Kraft’s efforts to reassure parents about the healthiness of the range. “Three years ago, the perception by some was that Dairylea was unnatural and processed, and we wanted to tackle that head-on,” he said.

Kraft removed artificial colours and flavours from Dairylea in 2010, followed by a 25% voluntary cut in salt in 2011. Its move to 100% natural ingredients was a logical next step, Newman said.

The new Dairylea spread rolls out to the multiples next week, followed by cheese triangles and Dunkers in late summer.