Food coloring is made from either petroleum-based chemicals that are United States Food and Drug Administration approved, or from extracts that come from natural food sources. The FDA requires that all labels on food and beverages include all the artificial coloring that a product contains. Synthetic or man-made food coloring are assigned Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic numbers (FD&C) that are regulated by the FDA.
People use food coloring for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include compensating the color that is lost due to exposure to the elements and storage conditions; to correct the natural variations in color; to enhance naturally occurring colors; and to give color to otherwise colorless fun foods.
The following are the artificial coloring approved by the FDA:
The artificial food colors Orange B and Citrus Red No. 2 are only allowed for certain types of food. Citrus Red No. 2 is allowed only to be used on orange peels, while Orange B is allowed only for sausage casings and hot dogs.
Food coloring that is extracted from natural sources does not require FDA regulation. These naturally occurring food coloring sources include annatto extract, beta-carotene extract or carmine, paprika oleoresin, caramel color, fruit and vegetable juices and saffron.Learn More
Food coloring does not expire, nor does it lose its coloring power. Food coloring should be kept well-sealed to prevent contamination from dust or other particles.Full Answer >
Food coloring will not disperse in vegetable oil, or any other kind of oil, and therefore cannot be used to color it. However, a fun experiment exists to combine food coloring and oil as a makeshift lava lamp.Full Answer >
The highly purified stevia extracts found in supermarkets are recognized as generally safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Crude and whole-leaf extracts are not approved by the FDA.Full Answer >
In 2003, due to concerns about disease, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control banned the keeping of African pouched rats as pets within the United States, according to Right Pet. In 2008, the ban on keeping the rats was lifted, but a ban on importing the rats is still in effect, as of 2014.Full Answer >