MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Does food coloring effect bread at all?

Date: Fri Jan 11 19:11:21 2008
Posted By: Peter Bosani, Independent
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1199670281.Gb

Hello, Bianca.

In short, food coloring left on your bread overnight will simply change 
the bread's natural color.  Colors used today are for the most part 
considered G.R.A.S (generally regarded as safe), by the F.D. & C., (Food, 
Drug and Cosmetic) Act of the United States.  This is especially true for 
colors used by children in the making of colored foods.

Manufacturers must comply with very stringent regulations regarding the  
safety of food additives.  Food coloring used by children must be shown 
to be exceptionally safe.  

The purpose of food coloring is simply to make a food's appearance appear 
more uniform and desirable.  In terms of bread, the most commonly used 
coloring by producers is caramel, which is simply 'burnt sugar', or 
molasses, which are added to so-called "brown bread" to give them a brown 
appearance.  This can be deceiving since the bread can be made of 
refined, white flour.  These by the way are natural colorants and 
therefore do not need to be certified.

Artificial colors on the other hand need to be certified, and some colors 
can be a health concern.  The most common ones of concern are: Yellow No. 
5, also known as tartrazine, which can cause allergic reactions in 
people, especially those sensitive to Aspirin.  Another of concern is 
Yellow dye No. 6, also called Sunset Yellow, which has caused hives, 
allergic reactions, and gastric reactions.
To add to this problem, some countries allow certain dyes on foods while 
others have banned them.  Some food dyes have caused cancer in test 
animals, but in much, much  greater amounts than humans would ever 
naturally eat.
Also, food dyes have been absolved of causing hyperactivity in children.  
Any hyperactive reaction would most likely be caused by the food itself, 
rather than the dyes.

So in short, most of the coloring agents you'll use on your bread are 
safe to use, and the significant change you would note the following day, 
will be an alteration in its natural color.

Hope that helps,

Peter Bosani.

For more, log on to:

Scroll down to Color Additives, and then scroll into - Color Additives 
and Foods, and finally, into - Food Color Facts.

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