Food coloring

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About Food coloring

Wikipedia Article About Food coloring on Wikipedia

Dyes of various colors (most commonly blue, green, red and yellow) used to tint foods such as frostings and candies. The most familiar form of food coloring is liquid. Food coloring paste, which comes in a wider variety of colors, can usually only be found in specialty stores such as cake-decorating shops. It's particularly suitable for mixtures that do not combine readily with liquid, such as white chocolate. A little of any food coloring goes a long way, so it's best to begin with only a drop or two, blending it into the mixture being tinted before adding more.

People learn to associate certain colors with certain flavors, and this causes the color of food to influence the perceived flavor, in anything from fruit gums to wine. For this reason, food manufacturers add dyes to their products. Sometimes the aim is to simulate a natural color as perceived by the consumer, such as adding red coloring to glacé cherries (which would otherwise be beige), but sometimes it is for effect, like the green ketchup that Heinz launched in 2000.

The American food industry uses 3000 tons of food color per year.

While most consumers are aware that foods with bright, unnatural colors, like Froot Loops, are artificially colored, few people know that apparently "natural" foods such as oranges are sometimes also dyed to mask natural variations in color. Most trust the regulation of their governments to keep any unsafe additives off the market, but there is a vigorous public debate about the safety of many food colorings - a notable example being tartrazine. A growing minority believes that the effects of colorings have not been well enough researched and consider their use an unnecessary risk.