With the development of human beings and the progress of science and technology, consumers not only pursue the basic external performance of food such as taste and color but also start to pay attention to factors such as the health and safety of food. And then, Do you really know food colors, which can affect the consumer product purchase desire and human health? What are the differences between natural colors and artificial colors? How to choose the food colors?
Part 1. Learn natural colors and artificial colors
Natural colors come from the nature, and they are extracted from coloring raw materials, without any chemical products.
And many countries have given different regulations for natural colors. In the United States, the most common non-synthetic food colorant term is “natural colors.” In Europe, natural colors can be divided into food additives with “E numbers”(e.g. Turmeric E100) and coloring food ingredients derived from fruits, vegetables and algae.
Artificial colors are food additives used to provide or enhance characteristic colors in food products. They are obtained from synthetic processes, and are typically made up of complex hydrocarbons, nitrogen and sulfur ions.
Part 2. The sources of natural colors and artificial colors
The origin of food colors dates back to 1500 BC. Humans have been using natural colors in food since the ancient Egyptians. Natural extracts and wine were used to improve the color of sweets. Then In Mid-19 century, the production of synthetic colorants is attributed to William Henry Perkin, who in 1856 accidentally discovered aniline purple. Shortly after, food colors became more common. By the 1900s, around 695 food colorants became available. But now, due to pursuit of clean label and and natural, artificial colors are becoming less appealing to consumers. Where are they from?
Natural colors are derived from plants, invertebrates and minerals, including the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, algae, insects, etc. Artificial colors are made from aniline dyes separated from coal tar, so it is also called coal tar pigment or aniline pigment.
Part 3: The characteristics of natural colors and artificial colors
②Easily discolored by heat, light, acid and alkaline factors
④Natural color tone
⑥Short shelf life
⑦Natural, health and safe.
②Strong coloring power, not easy to fade
⑥Long shelf life
⑦Not safe. It may cause diseases such as cancer.
Part 4. The types of natural colors and artificial colors
According to the list of food coloring published in the EU, the US, Japan, China and other countries.
Anthocyanins, Betanins, Carbon black, Carotenoid, Carmine, Curcumin, Chlorophyll, Phycocyanins, Safflamins&Carthamins
New Coccin, Erythrosine, Allura red AC, Amaranth, Tartrazine, Sunset yellow FCF, Fast green FCF, Beilliant blue FCF, Indigo carmine.
The lists of natural colors
|Types||Sources||Main Colors||CAS #|
|Anthocyanins||Purple corn, purple carrots,|
sweet potatoes, radishes, elderberries, cabbage
|Blue, red, or purple||11029-12-2|
|Carbon black||Charred vegetable matter like coconut husks||black||1333-86-4|
|Carotenoid||Annatto, beta-carotene, paprika||Bright yellow, red, and orange||7235-40-7|
|Carmine||The cochineal insect||red||1390-65-4|
The lists of artificial colors
|Colors||CN||US||EU||JP||CAS #||Molecular Formula|
|Red||诱惑红||Allura red AC||E129||赤色40号||25956-17-6||C18H₁₄N₂Na₂O8S₂|
|Yellow||日落黄||Sunset yellow FCF||E110||黄色5号||2783-94-0||C16H10N2Na2O7S2|
|Green||/||Fast green FCF||E143||绿色3号||2353-45-9||C37H34N2Na2O10S3|
|Blue||靛蓝||Beilliant blue FCF||E133||青色1号||3844-45-9||C37H34N2Na2O9S3|