Posts Tagged ‘carmine’

Hidden Hazard #1!

August 3, 2009

Often in our daily lives, we use the color red to symbolize “warning” or “stop.” Well, if you weren’t already aware, there’s also a reason to pause when you see the color red in your food. It may be that the color is derived from insects. The cochineal or Polish cochineal to be precise. While not all red dyes are derived from the cochineal, as of now, it is extremely difficult to tell which products contain this dye. Products can vary significantly¬† and they include additives in food, yogurt, cosmetic products and coloring for synthetic products. The good news is that, in response to consumers with allergies to the cochineal food coloring and a petition by the CSPI,¬† the FDA passed a regulation on January 5, 2009 requiring food and cosmetics containing this dye to list the ingredient on the labeling (the dye goes under several names: carmine, carminic acid, C.I., C.I. 75470, crimson, cochineal extract, and Natural Red 4). The bad news is that this regulation won’t go into effect until 2011. Until then, beware the obvious red.

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