Liquid, paste, or powdered edible dyes used to tint foods.
Food coloring, or color additive, is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink. They come in many forms consisting of liquids, powders, gels and pastes. Food coloring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking. Due to its safety and general availability, food coloring is also used in a variety of non-food applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, home craft projects and medical devices
Purpose of food coloring
People associate certain colors with certain flavors, and the color of food can influence the perceived flavor in anything from candy to wine. Sometimes the aim is to simulate a color that is perceived by the consumer as natural, such as adding red coloring to glacé cherries (which would otherwise be beige), but sometimes it is for effect, like the green ketchup that Heinz launched in 1999. Color additives are used in foods for many reasons including:
1. Offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions
2. Correct natural variations in color
3. Enhance colors that occur naturally
4. Provide color to colorless and "fun" foods
5. Make food more attractive and appetizing, and informative
6. Allow consumers to identify products on sight, like candy flavors or medicine dosages.