Safer Food Colors

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by Frank Sanoica, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    I've heard since early adulthood that food colorants were generally not real safe. I tried to always avoid foods that obviously had colors added to them, but in those days, ingredients were not labeled. Candies and other sweets especially, had colors added, cakes, cookies, "red velvet" type, and so on. Today's kids are drinking a bewildering variety of highly-colored liquids, not sodas, which line the store shelves. Some, I would not even taste, based on their horribly bright, often putrid-looking color!

    Here's a clipping I scanned today. Interesting, from non-GMO colored corn kernels, a safe colorant. Frank

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I remember the food coloring became popular when I was nearing to graduate in grade school. Gelatin which was usually transparent in color were being sold in different colors of red, yellow, green and even blue. With some dishes food coloring was also used instead of the traditional "atsuwete" which is organic because the red color comes from the seeds when soaked in water. And then there was that rumor that food coloring (the noun) can cause cancer. But there was no proof about that scare so people just continued buying food that was colored.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Corie Henson Corie, when I was a kid, a popular candy was sold here called "Chuckles". It had about 6 small chunks of gelled-like pieces of candy, each of a different color, they were coated with sugar, I believe. Biting into one gave the feel like biting into a not-quite ripe fruit, kind of solid, not mushy.

    Once, for reasons I do not recall, I ate a whole bunch of them, maybe 4 or 5 packages, got pretty sick, so sick my Dad took me to Dr. Davies. The kindly old Welshman asked what I had eaten during the previous day. I told him "Chuckles". I was about 11 or 12, so understood as he told my dad, "Pa, they put coal tar in that candy. It's not good for the system. He probably ate too many." Coal tar became a no-no. I can find no reference to coal tar in Chuckles research: "The Chuckles brand was first produced in 1921 by Fred W. Amend. The only factory was in Danville, IL."

    "Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal is carbonized to make coke or gasified to make coal gas. Coal tars are complex and variable mixtures of phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heterocyclic compounds"

    "According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, preparations that include more than five percent of crude coal tar are Group 1 carcinogens."

    "According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, coal tar is a valuable, safe and inexpensive treatment option for millions of people with psoriasis and other scalp or skin conditions"

     
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  4. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Now I recall the candy Tweet. It is a hard candy colored red. And when you eat that, you tend to have red lips like having a lipstick. You can imagine that candy being a craze with the kids. I was in grade school then and not only us who were buying but even those in high school and college because the candy has an addictive taste. But anything that is popular is always attacked with a rumor that Tweet candy can cause cancer because of that red color that sticks to the lips. That rumor killed the candy's popularity.
     
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  5. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't know why companies think it is necessary to add a bunch of coloring or other unnecessary ingredients to foods. I used to eat Chuckles, too, and liked them, but of course I'd never eat that many at once ;), even on Halloween:eek::D:p.

    I had heard companies were looking for alternatives to unsafe food coloring, and that in some cases, bugs were used to create red dye. Here's an article about how Starbucks stopped using one red dye made from bugs. Personally, i don't want to eat things with additives from bugs or chemicals. I'd rather eat clear jello or have it flavored or colored with something natural that isn't bug based.

    We used to take tours of historical villages when we were children, both with the family, and also on school trips, and I was always fascinated that they made the pain back then by using colored berries, cream, etc.
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Wasn't there a big fuss made about red dye a few years ago? Now I see red things again. Are they using something safer?

    What I like is the clear drinks they've made for kids...like clear popsicles or juice or even Kool aid I think.

    I just like it because it doesn't stain and I think that's the purpose behind it. Of course it's still sticky. :)
     
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  7. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    I was just wondering about Jello...
    I opened up a box of strawberry jello and found the powder to be almost white in colour.. Add some boiling water and it turns dark red instantly ....
    Is that food colouring ???? Most likely and is it good for you??? I never heard of anyone getting sick from jello...
    It also comes in a variety of colours such as green, orange, purple, etc.
     
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  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Steve North
    Not immediately sick, no. But the long-term effects are dubious, I imagine.
    @Chrissy Page There was indeed a lot of hubbub going on about some FDA Red colorant, but never heard of the outcome.
    Frank
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yes, I specifically remember Hawaiian Punch. Think they might have switched dyes or something because there is still red colored fruit punch.
     
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