Permissible Synthetic Food Dyes in India

Abstract

Since prehistoric times, people have been fascinated with colors. From cave paintings to the latest gadgets, color has been a constant companion of humans. Coloring materials aka ‘dyes’ aren’t just for fabrics but have been added to various types of food to enhance their appeal. Evidently, this coloring chemicals have their origin in natural products, which later expanded to the huge market of artificial food dyes. Artificial food colorings have been in the controversy for many years and scrutinized for being possibly linked to cancer, allergies and hyperactivity. Globally, natural as well as artificial dyes are being cautiously researched and regulated by the food safety authorities. In India, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (now called the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006), has been implemented for the quality assurance of various types of foods and food products, and only eight dyes have been suggested edible, but within prescribed limits. The present article explores the history and journey of these captivating materials which have been brightening our world for more than 3500 years, along with a detailed overview of their physical and chemical properties, and the usage and toxicity of the eight permissible food dyes in India.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Suggested Reading

  1. [1]

    M. Palkovits, Hypothalamic regulation of the food intake, Clinical Neuroscience, Vol.56, No.9–10, pp.288–302, 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    J. B. Hutchings, The importance of visual appearance of foods to the food processor and the consumer, Journal of Food Quality, Vol.1, pp.267–278, 1977.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    H. T. Lawless and H. Heymann (eds.), Color and Appearance, 12th Chapter of book, Sensory Evaluation of Food: Principles and Practices (Food Science Text Series), Springer Science Business Media New York 2nd ed., pp.406–129, 2010.

  4. [4]

    A. Hard and L. Sivik, A theory of colors in combination — A descriptive model related to the NCS color-order system, Color Research and Application, Vol.26, No.1, pp.4–28, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    J. Walford (ed.), Developments in Food Colours, Elsevier 1980.

  6. [6]

    Pan American Health Organization, Ultra-processed Food and Drink Products in Latin America: Trends, Impact on Obesity, Policy Implications. Washington, 2015.

  7. [7]

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Guidelines on the Collection of Information on Food Processing Through Food Consumption Surveys. Rome, 2015.

  8. [8]

    FDA-IFIC Foundation “Food Ingredients and Colors” brochure, http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=Food_Ingredients_Colors

  9. [9]

    Rackham, H. (Ed.), Pliny the Elder. Natural History, Col. 4, Book XIV,; Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 1945; p 232–233.

    Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    H T McKone, The History of Food Colorants Before Aniline Dyes, Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, Vol.10, pp.25–31, 1991.

    Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    P B Hutt and P B Hutt II, A history of government regulation of adulteration and misbranding of food, Food, Drug, Cosmetics, Law Journal, Vol.39, pp.2–73, 1984.

    Google Scholar 

  12. [12]

    S H Katzand and W W Weaver, Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Edition 1 Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2002.

  13. [13]

    H E Armstrong, H W Wiley, Nature, Vol.126, pp.444–445, 1930.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2016/april/tradoc154427.pdf

  15. [15]

    https://odishapolice.gov.in/sites/default/files/PDF/The%20Prevention_of_Food_Adulteration_Act_1954.pdf

  16. [16]

    https://fssai.gov.in/notifications.php?notification=gazette-notification

  17. [17]

    https://experiencelife.com/article/the-truth-about-artificial-food-colorings/

  18. [18]

    The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act & Rules, (as on 1.10.2004) http://old.fssai.gov.in/Portals/0/Pdf/pfa%20acts%20and%20rules.pdf

  19. [19]

    J B Hallagan, D C Allen and J F Borzelleca, The safety and regulatory status of food, drug and cosmetics colour additives exempt from certification, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol.33, No.6, pp.515–528, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. [20]

    B Magnuson, I Munro, P Abbot, N Baldwin, R Lopez-Garcia, K Ly, L McGirr, A. Roberts and S Socolovsky, Review of the regulation and safety assessment of food substances in various countries and jurisdictions, Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A, Vol.30, pp.1147–1220, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. [21]

    J Duffus, M Nordberg and D Templeton, Glossary of terms used in toxicology, 2nd edition (IUPAC Recommendations 2007), Pure Applied Chemistry, Vol.79, pp.1153–1344, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. [22]

    B F Feingold, Adverse reactions to food additives, Presented at: The American Medical Association Annual Meeting; June 24–28, 1973.

  23. [23]

    K S Rowe and K J Rowe, Synthetic food coloring and behavior: a dose response effect in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, repeated-measures study, The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol.125, No.5 Part 1, pp.691–698, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. [24]

    B Bateman, J O Warner, E Hutchinson, T Dean, P Rowlandson, C Gant, J. Grundy, F Fitzgerald and J Stevenson, The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children, Archives of Disease in childhood, Vol. 89, No.6, pp.506–511, 2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. [25]

    D McCann, A Barrett and A Cooper, Food additives and hyperactive behavior in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, Lancet, Vol.370, pp.1560–1567, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. [26]

    L E Arnold, N Lofthouse and E Hurt, Artificial Food Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms: Conclusions to dye for, Neurotherapeutics, Vol. 9, No.3, pp.599–609, 2012.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. [27]

    L J Stevens, J R Burgess, M A Stochelski and T Kuczek, Amounts of artificial food dyes and added sugars in foods and sweets commonly consumed by children, Clinical Pediatrics, Vol.54, No.4, pp.309–321, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. [28]

    https://chemtable.wordpress.com/

  29. [29]

    https://nutrineat.com/list-of-ingredients-in-skittles-candy

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jyoti Mittal.

Additional information

Jyoti Mittal is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. She is an alumnus of University of Roorkee (Presently, IIT, Roorkee). She has been listed as ‘Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers of the Year 2018’ in the cross field section. Out of 10 Indian highly cited researchers of 2018, she is the only woman scientist receiving this distinction. She works in the field of water treatment and surface chemistry, particularly for the removal of hazardous pollutants like dyes and metal ions from waste water.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mittal, J. Permissible Synthetic Food Dyes in India. Reson 25, 567–577 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12045-020-0970-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Food dye
  • synthetic dye
  • toxicity
  • food safety and standards act