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Natural Red Food Colors

If you want to avoid the use of synthetic food dyes in your cooking, it’s easy enough to make your own natural red coloring from foods such as beets, hibiscus flowers or berries. You can also find ways to achieve a red shade by steeping spices like annatto (also known as achiote) in oil and adding this to your recipes.

The main types of natural red food colors are water soluble, such as beets and berries, or fat soluble, such as carmine (carminic acid from crushed cochineal scale insects). There are other naturally occurring pigments that can be used as well such as chlorophyll which is found in green plants. Chlorophyll is soluble in water, which makes it ideal for coloring water-based foods such as candies and juices, or in oils and vinegars.

In addition to enhancing the appearance of foods, many natural food colorings contain health-promoting compounds such as antioxidants, which help fight free radical damage that can cause chronic disease. Many natural food colorants are also rich in bioflavonoids, which can reduce bruising and other circulatory problems.

In order to create a wide range of shades for food products, product developers often combine multiple natural red sources and other colorants from vegetables and fruits in a formulation. The colorant technology team works closely with the chefs and nutritionists on the development of new products to ensure that the right amount of natural coloring is used and that the resulting colors are stable under the food processing conditions.Natural Red Food Colors


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