Food colouring, or colour additive, is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts colour when it is added to food or drink. They come in many forms consisting of liquids, powders, gels and pastes.
Food colouring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking.
Due to its safety and general availability, food colouring is also used in a variety of non-food applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, home craft projects and medical devices.
People associate certain colours with certain flavours and the colour of food can influence the perceived flavour in anything from candy to wine. Sometimes the aim is to simulate a colour that is perceived by the consumer as natural, such as adding red colouring to glace cherries (which would otherwise be beige), but sometimes it is for effect, like the green ketchup that Heinz launched in 1999.
Colour additives are used in foods for many reasons including:
* offset colour loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions
* correct natural variations in colour
* enhance colours that occur naturally
* provide colour to colourless and “fun” foods
Colour additives are recognized as an important part of many foods we eat.
Most of us know that when kids go to birthday parties, they generally come home very hyperactive.
A lot of people say this is a ‘sugar high’.
As a matter of fact, sugar has very little to do with it!
And if it is a packaged food then the sugar amount is listed on the package in the nutritional value.
There are many colours to be concerned about, some are natural, but most of them are artificial. Another way I look at it is that Asbestos is natural, but it’s not good for you.
These are the colours that make food very appealing to children!
Did you know that Tim Tams are made up of 102–Tartrazine, 110–Sunset Yellow, 129–Allura Red, 133–Brilliant Blue and 150–Caramel, to get the nice chocolatey look!
And here’s another one that may shock you, did you know that Minties contain 133-Brilliant Blue.
Natural food colours, due to their organic nature, can sometimes cause allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in sensitive individuals. Also some additives are not recommended for children especially those with ADD, ADHD or anyone with a known chemical sensitivity.
Colouring agents known to be potential hazards include annatto, cochineal and carmine.
For more information regarding colours, checkout our Additives Search page.