Is Food Coloring Safe?

mint chocolate chip ice creamEver wonder what gives mint ice cream its brilliant green color or red velvet cake its deep red color? Food color additives are responsible for these common food colors. Without color additives mint ice cream wouldn’t be green, cola wouldn’t be brown and red velvet cake wouldn’t be very red.

Food color additives have a long history of use in our food supply. However, as consumers become more conscious about their health, many are concerned about the safety of these additives.

What are food color additives?

A color additive is any dye, pigment or substance that adds color to food. Color additives are made from natural or artificial ingredients. Natural ingredients used for coloring are made from fruits, vegetables or edible plants. Ingredients not found in nature are synthetically produced as artificial color. Yogurt, gelatin, baked goods, margarine, cheese, soft drinks, jam, pudding, and pie filling are some of the foods with added color.

Color additives are used for many reasons: to offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture, and storage conditions; to correct natural variations in color; to enhance natural colors; or to give color to fun or colorless foods for appeal.

Are food color additives safe?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all color additives – natural and artificial – ensuring that any food containing a color additive is safe to eat, has only approved ingredients ,and is accurately labeled.

Today, food and color additives are…