Topline Trends Tuesday: Natural food colourings

August 18, 2009

fresh annato

From moms with rangy kids to health advocates, artificial food colourings used to make packaged foods appealing have been criticized for years. Concerns about the chemicals used in artificial colouring range from aggravating skin rashes like eczema to causing ADHD. Recently, food scientists have made strides with natural colours and now many natural colours are more heat stable and suitable for use in acidic foods. (If you’re super smart and interested in the science behind these advances, you can read about it in Food Navigator).

At the recent Institute of Food Technologies trade show, both natural food colour options and organic versions of traditional natural food colours like annatto (pictured above and used to make Cheddar cheese orange) got a lot of attention as food companies look for ways to create products with “cleaner” ingredient lists.

Watch Food Navigator’s video if you’d like more info.

How do you feel about coloured food? Do you resist adding food colouring to frostings? Do you shun Easter eggs? Or, do you go for it?