The Chemistry of Food Coloring

Why we use food coloring (wikipedia)

  • Correct natural color variation
  • Enhance natural colors
  • Provide color
  • Make food more attractive
  • Identify product flavors

History of the Use of Food Coloring (safefood.eu)

  • Saffron mentioned in Homer's Iliad
  • 1396: Act against French coloring of butter
  • 1531: German law- burning of anyone accused of using saffron as a colorant
  • 1820: sweets were colored with poisonous chemicals (lead, copper sulfate, copper arsenite, mercury sulfide...)
  • 1856: first synthetic color (mauvine) was made instead of an anti-malaria drug

Characteristics of food coloring

  • Dissolves in water (ionic)
  • Color remains for long periods of time

  • Excited at a low energy

Natural Coloration

  • Carotenoids (red/orange)
  • Chlorophyll (green)
  • Anthocyanin (purple/blue)
  • Cochineal (carminic acid)

Works Cited

"The Chemistry of Food Colorings." American Chemical Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

"U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Color Additives: FDA's Regulatory Process and Historical Perspectives. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

"The History of Food Colour Additives." Food Colour Resource. Safe Food, n.d. Web. 14 May 2016.

"Food Coloring." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.


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Chemistry of Food Coloring

by 16kylawallaszek

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Public - 5/11/16, 5:07 PM