Written Paper

Color the food naturally  [1981]

Francis, F.J.

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Food colorants are available from natural sources, but technological problems such as cost, instability, availability, and FDA standardization and characterization requirements limit their applications. Anthocyanins produce red and blue colors in fruits. In addition to supply and cost limitations, pigment extraction produces polymers which cannot be chemically defined, and therefore cannot be approved as colorants by the FDA. Since all anthocyanin extracts contain yellow pigments (flavonoids), tannins and cathechins, costly purification of crude pigment extracts is also necessary. Betacyanins are natural red pigments found in beets, but their addition to foods causes flavor problems. Pigment preparations concentrated by new processing methods would require new food additive petitions to the FDA. Both anthocyanins and betacyanins are less chemically stable, and more expensive, than F.D.E.C. food colorants. Carotenoids which are structurally identical to their naturally-occurring counterparts have been synthesized and used as colorants; their purity and safety can be controlled. Other natural extracts include annato, paprika, turmeric, saffron and cochineal

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Professional Nutritionist (USA)