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Published on 14 October 2022

Is food colouring safe?

What is food colouring?

What is food colouring?

Food colouring, sometimes called food dye, can refer to any dye, pigment, or substance that changes the colour of food or drink after being added to it. They are available in a wide variety of formulations, including liquids, powders, gels, and pastes. Food colouring is often throughout the manufacture of food that is sold commercially as well as in home cooking. Food colourants are also utilised in a range of applications that are not related to the food industry, such as cosmetics, medicines, home craft projects, and medical equipment. Food colouring can be artificially synthesised or be made from fruit and vegetable powders.

Why does food colouring have bad press?

In recent years, food colouring has gone from being ignored to being many people’s enemy. And while some reactions have been a bit extreme, there have been good reasons behind the switch. Indeed, certain cheap and artificial dyes have been scientifically proven to have negative effects on human health. Thankfully, scientists around the world put a lot of work into identifying them and our government does a good job at forbidding any dangerous dyes.

Are artificial food dyes bad for you?

No verdict has yet been reached on this particular issue as not all food colouring has been created equal. The findings on the safety of artificial food colours have been more contentious and equivocal than originally anticipated. Only a select few of the hundreds of different food dyes that have been developed since the 1850s have been proven to include chemicals and impurities that have a negative effect on health. Thankfully, all dangerous food colouring is outlawed in the UK and in Europe. If you decide to go on a trip to America, you might need to be a bit more careful as they have less strict laws on additives there.

Plus, many food dyes are now made directly from plants (in the form of plant powders) or are extracted from plants. For example E160a, a dye we use in some of our recipes, is commercially obtained from carrots.

Can I consume food dye?

The dyes licensed for food usage in the UK are totally safe to consume. But like everything, they should be consumed with moderation. A little bit of food colouring in frosting or an occasional fizzy drink will not hurt you in any way. Eating bags of sweets, kilos of crisps and and drinking tons of soda might bring your food colouring intake a bit too high but most importantly will come with too high intake of sugar, fat and salt, which are also ingredients not meant to be consumed in high quantities. Processed foods consumption should be kept as low as possible.

Food dye

Last words

In conclusion, food is safe to consume in moderation. You do not have to stop yourself from enjoying your favourite sweets or a slice of cake for a little bit of food dye. Make sure not to drink pints of it and everything should be fine! When making a diet decision, make sure to remember that moderation is key. Because even water can have negative effects on your health if consumed in too high amounts.

Rest assured that, at Cakes & Bakes, we use the highest quality ingredients to offer you a high-class cake experience. If you have any question about the ingredients we use in our delicious cakes, get in contact with us. We would love to bring you answers. And remember that Cakes & Bakes is here to fulfil all you cakes, brownies, cupcakes and cookies needs! Visit our website and order now for next-day cake delivery in London and within the M25.