Q. Is colour added in food?
Yes. The growing trend in the food industry is that consumers demand colourful food products and thus continues the success of using colour in food.
Q. What are the types of food colouring?
There are two types of colouring namely, (1) Natural & (2) Artificial (Synthetic).
Q. What is the difference between Natural and Artificial (Synthetic) colours?
Artificial colours: Obtained from coal tar (coal). Most of the artificial food dyes are derived from petroleum or Crude oil.
Natural colours: Obtained from fruits, vegetables, and edible plants.
Q. Are colours harmful to health?
Artificial colours are harmful. But natural colours do not cause any hazards to health. In fact when we use natural colours foods are altered from their natural states to make them safe, or to remove the bacteria which are harmful and to prolong the shelf life of the food. (E.g.) Natural colour dye: Canoteroids, Chlorophyll, Arthocyanin, Turmeric.
Q. What are the hazards of artificial colouring?
It can cause serious problems like:
- Damage to DNA
- Cancer (mostly bladder cancer)
- Brain Tumours
- Thyroid and Hyperactivity in children
People who use T. Aspirin are sensitive to yellow colour dye which causes allergic reaction.
Q. Which are the foods where artificial colours are used?
Icing, Snacks, Pudding, Jelly, Popsicles, Ready to eat cereals, Sports drinks, Cheese, Children's snacks, Toothpaste and Mouth washes.
Q. How does one identify artificial colouring from natural colouring foods?
- Please check the label of the food which you purchase and make note
- FD &C is the combination of artificial colour
- Natural colour is mentioned in the form of Chlorophyll, Turmeric, Vegetable juices, Saffron
Identify the colouring agents in your food. Eat healthy and stay healthy
Q & A by Ms. Radhika
Dietician, Kauvery Hospital