Natural food dyes are obtained from natural raw materials.
The conditions for growth during cultivation and harvesting of the raw materials, e.g. incident sunlight and temperature, influence the resulting quality and quantity of the food colours.
As a consequence, product batches cannot simply be reproduced in identical quality; their composition and processing properties are subject to slight natural fluctuations.
During application of natural food colours, it should generally be remembered that their stability is limited in certain pH ranges and in the presence of heat and/or light, and their potential uses must be subjected to stability tests on the relevant final product.
Natural food colours have a shelf-life of approx. one year.
They are used in beverages, confectionery, fruit preparations, dairy products and ice-cream.
Natural food colours may be obtained from the following sources (list is not exhaustive):
|Vegetable origin||E100 Curcumin||Turmeric|
|E101 Riboflavin||Isolated from whey or fermentation|
|E140 Mg Chlorophyllin||Grass, alfalfa, chlorophyll|
|E141 Cu Chlorophyll||Grass, alfalfa, chlorophyll|
|E160 Carotene||700 known natural carotenoids|
|E161 Lutein||Marigold (Tagetes)|
|Animal origin||E120 Carmine / Carminic Acid||Cochineal beetle|
|Mineral origin||E171 Titanium dioxide / E172 Iron Oxide||Ores|
Like synthetic dyes, natural dyes have to be declared and must be indicated by their E numbers and/or their product names.
Quote: “... that the toxicological assessment of a dye generally has to be independent of whether it is of natural or synthetic origin.
A dye of natural origin is not necessarily harmless, since the most powerful poisons are natural products...”
(Source: OTTERSTÄTTER, Gisbert: Färbung von Lebensmitteln, Arzneimitteln und Kosmetika, 3rd revised ed. 2007, page 23, B. Behrs Verlag GmbH & Co.KG, Hamburg).
|Colour sample||E - number||Product name||Color Index N°||Color Index names||Solubility / Quality||POWDER Standard concentration min.%||GRAN Standard concentration %|
|E 100||Curcumin / Turmeric||75300||C.I.Natural Yellow 3; Turmeric oleoresin||4.)||–|
|E 120||Carmine / Carminic Acid||75470||C.I.Natural Red 4; Cochineal Extract||4.)||–|
|E 140(i)||Mg Chlorophyll||75810||C.I.Natural Green 3||4.)||–|
|E 140(ii)||Mg Chlorophyllin||75815||C.I.Natural - Green 5||4.)||–|
|E 141(i)||Cu Chlorophyll||75810||C.I.Natural Green 3||4.)||–|
|E 141(ii)||Cu Chlorophyllin||75815||C.I.Natural Green 5||4.)||–|
|E 153||Carbon Black (food grade)||77266*||C.I.Food Black 3; C.I.Pigment Black 8||2.)||–|
|E 160a||Beta-Carotene||40800||C.I.Food Orange 5; beta-carotene||4.)||–|
|E 160b||Annatto||75120||C.I.Natural Orange 4; Bixin; Norbixin||4.)||–|
|E 160c||Paprika extract||–||Capsanthin; Capsorubin||4.)||–|
|E 160d||Lycopene||75125||C.I.Natural Yellow 27||4.)||–|
|E 160e||Beta-Apo-8'-Carotenal||40820||C.I.Food Orange 6||4.)||–|
|E 161b||Lutein / Xanthophyll||75136||C.I.Natural Yellow 29||4.)||–|
|E 162||Betanine / Beetroot Red||–||Beetroot Red||4.)||–|
|E 163||Anthocyanin||–|| Anthocyanin ||4.)||–|