If you have ever searched for food coloring products on Amazon, you would have noticed the abundance of sellers and brands offering their own version of “completely safe” and “FDA approved” food dyes. You probably found yourself reading through reviews and wondering which ones to trust, going through long product descriptions that repeat multiple times how great the product is, and, let’s admit it, we have all sorted items from the lowest priced to the highest looking for a bargain.
Purchasing food coloring, however, is not like buying a t-shirt or a book. It is an edible product that is consumed for the most part by kids, and a bargain in this case could end up costing you more. You need to be 100% sure that the products you are purchasing are not going to harm you or your family, so we have compiled this guide to help you spot real from fake food coloring.
Look for the list of ingredients
Any company making genuinely safe food coloring will have no issue displaying the list of ingredients used in its products or informing its clients where they are made, whether on its Amazon listing, on its website, or on the item packaging. If you can’t find the ingredients anywhere, nor a valid website for the seller with detailed information on the product or where it was manufactured, it’s a good indication that the ingredients they use are most likely not as safe as they claim. In addition, a seller stating that they have an FDA certificate then posting an illegible photo of their “certificate” does not validate their products.
Look closely at the product photos
Examining closely a listing’s photos, you might find some indications as to whether a seller is to be trusted. Are they stating the item is food coloring but then include instructions for soap or lotions making? Does the manufacturer also happen to sell soap dye using curiously similar packaging, photos and instructions? Food dye and soap dye are technically different, and we’re not just talking about the edibility factor. If a seller is advertising the same product as suitable for coloring both food and non-food substances, it is likely their product is not optimized for either.
Quality not quantity
We all love a bargain, but in the food dye industry, using the products with wrong ingredients can be harmful. The FDA has clearly defined rules and regulations when it comes to food coloring, and following them correctly means using FDA approved ingredients, not using cheap ingredients to save on cost. Furthermore, using cheap ingredients results in a cheap quality product, which means using more dye to obtain the same result. The real bargain should be to choose good quality products that use truly safe and FDA certified ingredients, because you can’t put a price on health.
The internet is full of exciting products and opportunities. There’s always a bargain one click away or a novelty to discover, so it’s only normal for us to be tempted with new and different purchases. Our hope is that this guide will help baking enthusiasts recognize and filter out low quality food dyes from the multitude of options available to choose from, ensuring the use of safe products when coloring cakes, icing or other baked sweets.