Dyes in Foods: Natural versus Synthetic

868 WordsJun 21, 20184 Pages
Dyes in Foods Kool-Aid, strawberry ice cream, and Doritos: What do these things have in common? Whether you realize it or not, many ordinary foods contain dyes. Some of the dyes are natural; others are synthetic. Is one better than the other? According to the The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, a dye is a “synthetic or natural coloring used to color various materials.” Today, many dyes are used in foods all around the world. As of January 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration certifies nine different dyes-Blue 1, 2; Green 3; Red 3, 5, 6, 40; Yellow 5 and 6 (Beil). Blue dyes are usually found in ice creams, blueberry-flavored foods, and baked goods. Red dyes are often in candies, cookies, and chips. Cheeses and…show more content…
Natural dyes are also harder to blend with the foods the coloring is being added to. Even back in the 1800s, using dyes in foods created a controversy (Beil). When people first started using artificial dyes, chalk, copper, coal tar, and lead were tried. After studied, scientists realized that these ingredients were poisonous and were banned from American foods (Beil). However, countries around the world continued to use coloring similar to the ones that were first attempted in America. The food industry realized that people were getting sick from these added chemicals and went back to not adding anything into their foods. The problem was swept under the rug until it came up again in 1918. A new dye came into the food industry world, which was classified as Sudan 1. Countries did not think this dye was harmful because it appeared to be a “natural color” (Winnett). This dye was not added into American foods but it was in foods imported into the States. Sudan 1 was used in Indian chili powder and other similar spices. Immediately, people all over the world began to get sick, and this dye was banned worldwide. In 1995, Italy realized that European countries still added this in over three hundred-fifty foods illegally (Winnett). Italian government officials told the Food Services of America, and then the United Kingdom products were tested. Sure enough, these products were contaminated. However, this was discovered two years too late; hundreds of products containing
Open Document