What is Food Coloring?

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What is Food Coloring?
Food coloring is literally something that is added to food to alter its color. It may be in liquid or in powder form and is used in the commercial setup and at home. Some even use them for a variety of projects in school or in the office.

Adding or altering the color of food may be done for a variety of reasons. Some use color to mimic the color of natural food. Like in the case of tomato-based pasta dishes, some people add more “red” coloring to enhance the redness of the tomato sauce and look more “real”. Others use coloring to alter the perception of people on the usual hue of a certain product. A classic example is when a ketchup company introduced ketchup that’s not “red”. Instead, green was the color of their new line of ketchup. This certainly made everyone take a second look simply because of the unusual color for ketchup. There are also some food manufacturers that use coloring to hide natural color variations. Like in some dried mango strips and bits, some put yellow dye to make the strips “golden yellow” and cover the brownish hue of the dried fruit.

Food coloring is also used like an art material especially in the pastry industry. Cakes can be made with a variety of colors depending on the preferences of a particular customer. Because of food coloring, designs on cakes can be made more appealing to people of all ages, especially the children.

There are many food items that are usually used with food coloring. Oftentimes, we don’t even recognize if the food we eat have food coloring on them, because we usually associate certain colors for certain foods. And if we see food with the color that we expect it to have, we assume that it is the real thing and that no color is added to it.

Many food coloring come from other food items themselves. But some are also synthetically made; that is why some countries regulate the use of food coloring and have strict standards on food labelling.

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