Food Colouring

Food Colouring Overview

Food colouring dates as far back as the mid-19th century when William Henry Perkin discovered mauve – one of the first organic dye used in colouring cosmetics, drugs and food. Other dyes at the time were produced from processing coal. Towards the end of the same century, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ventured into research on food colours after which butter was officially approved for use. Food colouring is done to give food an attractive and appealing look. As humans we eat with our eyes long before the food gets into the mouth. Most times, the ability to eat food is a function of how good it looks or smells, and how well it is presented.
In the early 20th century, the USDA discovered sharp practices among manufacturers in the United States and banned the use of harmful substances to colour food. These manufacturers used substances that contained lead and mercury as food colourings. Natural food colour sources are not hard to find. They are contained in minerals, vegetable and other natural occurring plants like turmeric and saffron. Interestingly, natural food colourings are also useful in medicine and cosmetology. Nonetheless, all food colourings are now required to be certified for use by the United States Food and Drug Agency (FDA). Contact us today for partnerships directed at facilitating research in the food industry and general agricultural development.