I used yellow food coloring today and remembered that I have seen natural coloring , pretty expensive in an organic store. So I wondered is food coloring vegan? Then I thought this post would be a good one at this time because Easter is around the corner. Yes, I do not eat eggs so I do not color them anymore. But I have used food coloring in cookies. So, in case you use it in some way for Easter besides eggs I thought let me read up on this. So I did some research online and this is what I found. Some answers by some people stated that some red food coloring is made from beetles but that the other food colorings are ok. I read that yellow number 5 and 6 are vegetarian.. (yahoo) In regard to the red dye when reading another site it also stated that not all red dyes are made from bugs. It stated it would be labeled cochineal, carmine, or carminic if made from the cochineal beetle. FD and C and red number 40 are 99% coal derivatives. (Vegetarian resource group). The latter site also talks about a food guide you can order to help decipher food ingredients. Click on the link number two below in sources. As I was doing further research I began to see why a person would choose to buy natural food coloring. It seems to have to do with additives that are in some of them such as coal tar deritatives (Ehow.com) Spices such as turmeric, saffron, and papikra are also used for some food colorings. Some natural dyes are made of caramelized sugar, beet juice, the seed of the achiote shrub, and algae. Answers.com has a table that shows you where various sources for food coloring come from. An article from the FDA has a table of the various color additives and additives which are certifiable by the FDA. These regulations have to do with the purity and safety of the substance used in the dye. Link number 7 in my list of sources is a short video telling you some of the things I mentioned about natural food coloring and that red may sometimes come from insects. Another source talks about how some people may be concerned with the health risks of certain products used, such as the color derived from coal tar. That source is number 8 on my link list. You can then read about the product that was mentioned in the latter article, FD & C yellow number 5 in the link below from the FDA which talks about that issue. I am not making any claims that I have knowledge that specific additives cause health problems in this post. I have not done the research to support or negate the comment. I just wanted to write about the various possibilities that may impact a persons decision one way or the other. I guess what it boils down to is personal preference. There was only one site I found that had a table showing that yellow may have a source of eggs, or organic meat. But I did not see that anywhere else. There is agreeement that some red comes from insects. That is very good to know so I can look at a label and make sure it does not have the words carmine, cohineal, or carminic in it indicating it came from an insect. The majority I saw was from either the natural spices or coal tar. So it appears that most of these items are vegan/ vegetarian. If one is concerned with safety of the additives that are not from natural sources such as the coal tar then maybe you may want to make sure it is all natural, for example from a spice or plant.
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