Is food coloring bad for you?

Don’t you look at the bright multicolored cakes and wonder it if they’re healthy or harmful? We’ll help you figure it out!

food coloring cake

One of the reasons that makes a person buy a particular product is its color, because it is the first thing the buyer sees. And if the colors of the fruits, vegetables and meat is always the same, the color of the cooked food can be very different. The brightness and vivid color of cooked products can be achieved using food coloring. Some unscrupulous manufacturers try to hide the bad quality of their products using bright food coloring so we should be very careful what food we choose. But today we’ll talk about food coloring at home, where you want to please the family not only with the amazing taste of self-prepared food, but also with the beauty of your culinary masterpiece.

food dyes

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What is food coloring and what kinds of food coloring are there?

There are artificial and natural food coloring. They both can be liquid, dry, granular, paste, powder or gel. Natural food coloring is made from the natural juices of plants and fruits, flowers, and also from the extracts and tinctures. They are absolutely safe for our health and even contain vitamins and minerals, but they can collapse under the action of high temperatures and have a short shelf life. They usually contain flavonoids, chlorophyll, carotenoids, vitamins, organic acids and mixtures of trace elements. For example, if you make a milkshake with blueberries, you’ll receive the blue color of natural origin. The most important thing is that along with the intense color obtained from berries and fruits the food will also get useful elements and vitamins.

food coloring

If there’s natural food coloring, why people use artificial food coloring?

Short shelf life and sensitivity to heat treatment of natural dyes make the artificial ones more appealing because they can easily withstand high temperatures, be stored for a long time and give a very bright and vibrant colors. These synthetic compounds cannot be found in nature, so they are produced by laboratory synthesis. Not all artificial colors are harmful to health, some of them are neutral. First of all, artificial substances do not contain vitamins, mostly they are absolutely tasteless and does not have biological activity. In addition, by mixing synthetic food colorings of different types, you can receive a mixture of the synthetic dyes with a variety of colors and shades that are not available when using only one dye.

natural food coloring

The use of artificial food dyes is your best solution when you need to provide the product with unusual or very rich color. At the moment, synthetic substances are used much more used than natural, and their field of application is extremely wide. The main harm of such supplements is that many of them are not fully explored, so the manufacturers can violate the norms of their content in foods. You also need to know that food dyes can cause allergies. For example, E142 substance can cause severe allergic reactions and it is practically not absorbed in the human intestine. E128, and E129 food coloring affects the nervous system and cause oxygen starvation. In addition, food coloring substances can contribute to the development of tumors. Studies on rats have show that if you inhale the powder of E171 food coloring, it will increase the risk of cancer. Some coloring additives may cause choking. Probably everyone has noticed the unpleasant smell that hair dye has. The matter is that one of the hair dye component is Е133, which is also used in the food industry. If after eating canned foods you feel the pain of the stomach, nausea and vomiting, the cause of this is the E110.

artificial food coloring

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