NEW YORK (AP) -- Taco Bell says it will roll out Cap'n Crunch-covered balls of dough nationally - and that they're exempt from its recent pledge to remove artificial ingredients.

A Taco Bell in Mount Lebanon, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

The company said week it would remove artificial colors, flavors and high-fructose corn syrup from its menu by the end of this year. But it noted there would be exceptions, including co-branded products like Doritos Locos Tacos.

On Friday, the company said its latest national product launch on July 2 would be Cap'n Crunch Delights, similar to doughnut holes filled with icing. Ashley Sioson, a Taco Bell representative, said in an email the new dessert will have artificial colors and flavors.

Taco Bell is among a number of major food makers dropping artificial ingredients from products to improve their images.

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands Inc., which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut.

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