Why The U.S. Government Decides The Color Of Our Food – Cheddar Explains

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States (FDA) has already revoked approval of 91 dyes that were once widely used in food and beverages. There are actually only seven synthetic colors remaining that are allowed by the federal agency — Blue #1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6.

Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 account for approximately 90 percent of the food dyes used in the United States today.

Red No. 40 is often found in cereal, gelatin, candy, and baked goods like cupcakes.

Yellow No. 5 is often found in soft drinks, pudding, chips, pickles, and mixed honey.

Yellow No. 6 is often found in orange soda and other beverages like hot chocolate mix.

You’d be surprised to know where artificial colors can show up, including some of the foods you thought were healthy and good for you. Look closely on the label. You’ll find artificial colorings in many brands of yogurt and whole wheat breads and pizza crusts.

Wild salmon is naturally pink, but farmed salmon flesh is naturally beige. To make their fish look more appetizing, salmon farmers add dyes to their feed to change the fish’s color from the inside. Because of this, some supermarkets put “color added” labels on the packaging of farmed salmon. If this is surprising to you, ask yourself if you would buy salmon that was beige and not pink. You probably wouldn’t. And that is why so much of our food contains these dyes and artificial colors.

Is Food Coloring Dangerous?