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Family Food Experts - Archive for 2006 March

Archive for March, 2006


For years, the female chochineal beetle has been the source of red dyes for processed foods. These beetles are raised in Peru and the Canary Islands, dried and ground into a fine powder, or made into an extract. Both have been and still are simply labeled as “color added” or artificial color”. Carmine, its official name, is found in ice creams, yogurts, fruit drinks, alcoholic drinks and candy products. The colors it produces is red, pink, or purple. After eating carmine coloring, some react with rashes, hives and even anaphylaxis attacks. Pressure to better inform the public, including vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights advocates, has the FDA addressing the need list the insect-derived red color additives on labels. We say the sooner the better.

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