Home >> The-grocers-encyclopedia-1911 >> Adulteration to Food Values >> Color


colors and coloring

COLOR and COLORING MATTER. A great improvement has been made during the last few years in the class of coloring matters employed in the preparation of foods, candies, etc. The use of unwholesome chemicals has been practically eliminated and there is no longer any reason why the consumer should look suspiciously at an attrac tively colored confection. Every tint desired can now be obtained in perfectly harmless vegetable and other extracts, supplemented by a number of coal-tar or aniline dyes ap proved by the Government after painstaking analysis and investigation.

The dyes referred to are employed in such minute quantities that they cannot harm anyone. A quarter of an ounce of "orange," for example, will give a strong yel low color to 500 pounds of candy.

The animal color most used is Cochineal (red). Vegetable colors are derived prin cipally from Beets, Currants, Heliotrope, Indigo, Litmus, Magenta or Fuchine, Per sian Berries, Rhodites (a salt of the Rose), Safflower, Saffron, Spinach and Turmeric.

The use of artificial coloring matter still needs—and in most states receives—very close inspection and regulation. There is no longer, except in very flagrant cases, any danger to health, but proper control is necessary to prevent commercial fraud by the use of colors—i. e., so improving the appearance of inferior articles as to make it possible to sell them at the price of better class goods. The use of colors solely to enhance the enjoyment of foods—as in candy, liqueurs, and many other articles—is entirely legitimate. To do so to conceal their inferiority, is reprehensible.

Colors for domestic uses are retailed in both paste and liquid forms.