Usage of colours in foods and beverages has prevailed since centuries. Along with usage of food colouring agents for edible products, they are also used for applications in medical consumption and cosmetics. The popularity of food colouring has increased dynamically due to a crucial reason-visual pleasure.
Consumers have readily chosen products that are foremost visually pleasing followed by the nutritional value of the product. Manufacturers have commenced using vibrant pigments to add value to their products. There are various factors that are taken into consideration while determining the high usage of food colours.
Consumers have constantly eyed products which pleases their eye-for this particular reason, especially during festivals and celebrations, the demand increases for aesthetically and thematically pleasing food items.
The market trends-sometimes outrageous and sometimes interesting-lead the manufacturing capacities of the market. Consumers enjoy indulging in flavourful treats that are prepared with careful consideration of the ongoing trends with respect to festivals. Customisation of food products-colour, shapes, special designs and aesthetically pleasing presentation play an important part in attracting customers.
Amidst the celebrations of Easter or Valentine’s Day, a buyer will invest in items that hold high relevance to the current occasion. Cupcakes, cookies, candies, and ice-creams are some of the examples of the previously stated point. Needless to say, pigments play the most important part in making an appeasing final product.
Pigments that are conceived artificially in laboratories by using chemicals and synthetic material, may or may not be suitable for consumption. In the lab process, a molecule has multiple combined double bonds. An energy difference between two diverse set of molecular orbits fall within the light range thus enabling visualisation.
Research conducted at a renowned university stated some facts that revolve around the impact of consumption of artificial food colouring on a child’s development. A particular set of pigments that were suspected to have interfered with the child’s development. The pigments include-Cochineal Red, Carmoisine colour, Sunset Yellow, Allura Red, Quinoline Yellow and Tartrazine Yellow.
An elevation of hyperactivity was evidently visible in children. It was stated that a combination of these pigments with sodium benzoate preservative resulted in increased hyperactivity. Following this accusation, there was collective removal of artificially produced blue colour from the market while they looked for an acceptable replacement.
ALL ABOUT NATURAL COLOURS:
Natural colours gradually have started to take over the artificially produced pigments. There was an ongoing search for finding reasonable colours to replace synthetic dyes. This process seemed to have a fruitful outcome due to high potency rate of natural colours.
One such natural food dye is brilliant blue which is sourced naturally from Cyanobacteria Spirulina. There are a few popular sources of other organic colours namely-curcumin that gives out yellow shade, beetroots that are responsible for purples and reds, chlorophyllin that brings out a bright shade of green, heated sugar that gives out caramel and lycopene which is an extract from tomatoes.
BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLOURS:
Natural colours are preferred by food dye manufacturers as they offer a wide range of colours that are non-toxic and can be used in varied forms for a variety of applications. Synthetic pigments majorly provide high stability to heat, light and pH. Whereas natural food colours are sensitive to heat and undergo thermal processing post manufacture.
Quite a few natural food colours undergo pH alterations and some are highly sensitive to light. Synthetic colours are applicable in both common forms-water insoluble and water soluble thus making the applicability easy. A distinct feature of artificially produced pigments is that since they are composed artificially, they are not limited by laws like Kosher and Halal.
In conclusion, these fundamental contrasts between artificial and natural food dye colouring are merely facts. Everything boils down to preference ultimately.
Every industry has its own peculiar needs that can be met either by using artificial colours or by natural colours.
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