Natural Food Colors are dyes or pigments derived from vegetables, animal, algae or insect. They are used in commercial food production and domestic cooking. They can be liquids, powders or gels.
Generally speaking, most people are aware that their favorite cereals, soft drinks, candy and baked goods often contain colored dyes. Although most people trust their government’s regulation to keep unsafe additives off the market, a growing number of consumers are becoming concerned that these chemicals have been linked to health problems.
In the interest of reducing exposure to these chemicals, many people are looking for alternatives to synthetic dyes. One alternative that is gaining popularity is the use of natural food colorings. Natural colors are derived from fruits, vegetables and edible plants. These colors are typically less expensive than their chemical counterparts and can be purchased at many grocery stores and specialty food shops.
It is important to remember that not all natural colorings are heat resistant and may change color or lose opacity when exposed to heat. This can be a problem when making food products that will be served at room temperature, such as frostings and cakes.
For this reason, it is best to use these natural foods colorings in cold applications like smoothies and salad dressings. In addition, it is recommended to start with a small amount of the colorant and add more if needed. For example, to make a true red, you might need to combine several types of food coloring.