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What is Food Coloring
Food coloring or color additive is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when added to foods or drinks. It is normally not consumed as food or ingredient of food. In addition, it may not have nutritive value.
Figure 1. Food uses different color additives
Color Additives are Used in Food to:
? Offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture, or other storage conditions Make the color change naturally and make it look more uniform Improve the color of the food, making it look more attractive Provide color for colorless foods And others…
Types of Food Coloring
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration divides food coloring additives into two groups: one is certified and the other is exempt from certification.
Certification: Synthetic food coloring requires certification, and these pigments are widely used as food additives because they impart a strong, uniform color to foods and are relatively inexpensive.
Exempt from certification: Natural pigments derived from vegetables or fruits do not require certification.
Figure 2. Some origins of the color additives used
Hazards of Incorrect Use of Food Coloring
Nothing is absolutely safe. Therefore, people may have an allergic-type reaction to color additives, and suffer from itching or hives. Food poisoning may occur if food contains color additives that are prohibited or if the additives are not properly labeled on the package. If it happens, the FDA can issue a warning letter to the manufacturer to detain or even seize the product before it is shipped to the store.
Regulations for Food Coloring
FDA regulates food coloring additives used in the United States. These color additives are legally approved by the agent. During the approval process, the FDA evaluates safety data to ensure that color additives are safe.
FDA has found some color additives that are carcinogenic to humans and animals, and these color additives may no longer be used in the US food market. In addition, if a color additive is approved for one intended use, it does not mean approval for other uses. That is to say, one additive may be allowed in chewing gums, but may not be approved to use in beer, so you should be cautious of this.
Formore color additive restrictions, please refer to “Related Regulations 1”.
How Safe Are Color Additives
In fact, color additives are very safe if used properly. The FDA regulates color additives used in foods and dietary supplements marketed in the United States. It is responsible for ensuring that all foods containing color additives are safe to eat. The FDA uses the best science available to determine if these color additives are not harmful to the consumer.
In addition, when the FDA approves of a color additive, the agency will impose strict requirements on it. Requirements usually include:
? The types of foods in which it can be used The maximum amounts allowed to be used How it should be marked on the food label
Therefore, if food producers use food coloring correctly, food coloring will be very safe.
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