The glazed and colorful donuts on the shelves at Dunkin’ Donuts somehow have a perfect, plasticky feel — and the powdered donuts are so white you could be eating snow from fake food heaven (this is, strangely enough, part of what makes them so appetizing).

It’s likely that Dunkin’ Donuts, like a lot of fast food companies, pumps preservatives and chemicals into their food, giving it the unreal quality as described above. But the company has recently announced that it will be taking the first step in removing potentially harmful toxins from its food: titanium dioxide will no longer be placed in its powdered sugar.

The food coloring agent is used to make white powdered sugar even whiter and brighter, is often used in toothpaste, and has been a controversial ingredient for quite some time. After pressure from an advocacy group known as As You Sow, Dunkin’ Donuts has agreed to remove it due to its potential toxicity — in a transformative moment that highlights the company’s desire to be a part of the new health wave, and be more self-aware. Dunkin’ has announced that it has been testing other powdered sugar formulas and will be “rolling out a solution” as soon as it’s complete.

“Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of the Dunkin’ Donuts chain, has agreed to remove titanium dioxide, a whitening agent that is commonly a source of nanomaterials, from all powdered sugar used to make the company’s donuts,” As You Sow states in a release. “As a result of this progress, the advocacy group As You Sow has withdrawn a shareholder proposal asking Dunkin’ to assess and reduce the risks of using nanomaterials in its food products.”

As You Sow, a non-profit company that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder proposals, had conducted independent lab tests on Dunkin’ donuts in 2013, then been in talks with the company to convince them to remove titanium dioxide for some time afterwards. About 19 percent of Dunkin' Donuts' shareholders agreed to the company removing the chemical.

Dunkin’ Brands claims that the exact ingredient used in their powdered sugar doesn’t fit in the “nanoparticle” definition as outlined by the FDA. And the FDA notes that titanium dioxide, as long as it’s under 1 percent in the food, should be safe to consume. Regardless, Dunkin’ agreed to find another solution because it “understands that investors are increasingly interested in the sustainability of the companies in which they invest.”

Whether or not titanium dioxide is directly harmful, As You Sow praises the company for taking the step because it paves the way for other companies to do so in the future.

“This is a groundbreaking decision,” Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel for As You Sow, said in a statement. “Dunkin’ has demonstrated strong industry leadership by removing this potentially harmful ingredient from its donuts. Engineered nanomaterials are beginning to enter the food supply, despite not being proven safe for consumption. Dunkin’ has made a decision to protect its customers and its bottom line by avoiding use of an unproven and potentially harmful ingredient.”