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What is food coloring made out of? How come all the dyes have numbers?
Carr, Santa Ana
Different colors of food coloring are made out of different ingredients. For pretty good list of these click here
According to one website
"The numbering system has several purposes. First, it lets you know
that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the coloring for
consumer use. If the number is in the form "FD&C x," that means the
chemical can be used in food, drugs, and cosmetics. If you see just a
D&C, that means it was approved for only drugs and cosmetics, not
food. Second, the numbers alert you that this is, in fact, an
artificial coloring agent. Third, the numbers make for much easier
label-reading than the actual chemical names. If there's any question
of safety--if, for example, the product is found to have long-term side
effects--it's also easier to yank off the shelf or avoid."
(republished on 07/17/06)
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