When looking at labels, make sure you buy items with only natural food dyes. Artificial dyes are known carcinogens and have been linked to hyperactivity, behavior problems, and migraine headaches. Even at home, decorating a birthday cake or Christmas cookies, make sure you are using natural food dyes to give that festive look.
Artificial dyes are made from petroleum products. Actually before the 1900’s natural products like saffron, beets, and paprika were used to make foods look colorful. However, the food industry has found it cheaper to use synthetically produced colors.
Below is a list of natural food dyes being commercially produced:
- Annatto (E160b) comes from the seed of the achiote it’s a red-orange color
- Betanin (E162) from beets
- Chlorophyllin (E140) comes from chlorella algae and is green of course!
- Paprika (E160c)
- Tumeric (E100)
- Saffron (E160a)
Or, you can just use real foods and spices that are colorful to decorate or color the food. Use some strawberries in your frosting recipe to make pink cake icing. Beets work really well for a darker pink/red. Kale and spinach will give a great green tint. Even a sprinkle of spirulina will give a green color to your food but be sure to use just a little of this or your food will smell like a fish tank!
For specific ideas on using real food for natural food dyes in baking and decorating see www.100daysofrealfood.com website or click here to follow a link. You can also find CANDY and NATURAL FOOD DYES for sale on-line at www.naturalcandystore.com.by