Nutrition and DietColoring additives

Coloring additives

Find out what color additives are, what their function is and what they are for, and in what foods you can usually find them.

Food additives, or food additives, are elements or compounds that are added to food for a certain purpose. In most cases, the main objective is to improve the flavor and aroma, its texture and appearance, or to increase the shelf life and prevent the food from oxidizing naturally.

Since it is common for them to be included in the ingredients used to make this food product, we usually find them on food or drink labels. Hence, it is very important to check food labels when we are going to buy a new food product, especially if we want to discover whether or not they contain many food additives.

Regarding the different types of food additives, depending precisely on their property or purpose, they receive different names. Thus we can find coloring additives, antioxidants, preservatives, emulsifiers and stabilizers.

What are coloring additives? What are they for?

As its name suggests, coloring additives are those that are used with the aim of improving the appearance of food, giving them a much more visually attractive appearance.

That is, they are elements that are added to food in order to color it artificially, usually in order to make it more “attractive”, to attract its consumption.

In this sense, most of the currently legally permitted colorants correspond to natural substances, to the group of vitamins and provitamin. Clear examples are carotenes, riboflavin or chlorophyll.

What foods can contain color additives?

  • Sweets: sweets, sugar toppings and marzipan.
  • Products prepared with milk, butter, egg, malt, caramel, cocoa and chocolate, coffee and honey.
  • Processed fruits: candied fruits and candied cherries.
  • Ice cream.
  • Fish products: canned prawns, salmon substitute, surimi and roe.
  • Drinks: sugar-free and sugary soft drinks, fruit-flavored liqueurs, herbal liqueurs.
  • Jams and fruit preserves.

The dangerous world of jelly beans…

It is evident that, in most cases,  one of the main uses of coloring additives is their use in gummies and gumdrops that children consume practically every day, in order to color them and make them, precisely, more striking in the eyes of the little ones.

Why? Very simple: give a child to choose between a tray of transparent gummies and a tray full of gummies and colored gumdrops. Which one will it be heading to?

Although it is true that  some coloring additives used in most cases are natural, such as those from some fruits or vegetables (such as the additive E160 or beta-carotene), the reality is that  in many cases these types of children’s products are saturated with coloring additives, admitted by the authorities, but not  artificial additives after all.

But beware: not only do we find coloring additives in gummies (due to the fact that they are sweet). It is also evident that we can find them in other salty children’s food products, such as in the case of fried potatoes or salty snacks.

Are dyes dangerous to health?

At this point, it is perfectly normal for you to wonder if those known as coloring additives  are dangerous to health, especially if we tend to consume food or food products that contain them every day.

The truth is that although we always tend to associate additives with health, and in many cases with certainly negative assessments, the reality is that the food industry only uses food additives approved by the relevant health authorities, after long periods of exhaustive studies that have verified that, in the doses whose consumption has been authorized, they have not caused harmful effects on people’s health.

For example, in our country only those additives approved by the European Community are allowed, which in turn have been included in a list approved in a European Directive, which is updated with some regularity.

Color stabilizers

The so-called color stabilizers are a group of additives that fulfill a similar function to coloring additives, but they do not have a coloring action by themselves, and they do have the quality of stabilizing the natural color of food, both during its preparation. As during storage, avoiding unwanted color variations.

Coloring additives

Find out what color additives are, what their function is and what they are for, and in what foods you can usually find them.

Food additives, or food additives, are elements or compounds that are added to food for a certain purpose. In most cases, the main objective is to improve the flavor and aroma, its texture and appearance, or to increase the shelf life and prevent the food from oxidizing naturally.

Since it is common for them to be included in the ingredients used to make this food product, we usually find them on food or drink labels. Hence, it is very important to check food labels when we are going to buy a new food product, especially if we want to discover whether or not they contain many food additives.

Regarding the different types of food additives, depending precisely on their property or purpose, they receive different names. Thus we can find coloring additives, antioxidants, preservatives, emulsifiers and stabilizers.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest article

More article