Dried fruits and canned fruit salads fall into this category. Most prepared cherry products also have plenty of red 40 added in, making them that iconic nearly neon red color. You’ll also find it in fruit bars and toaster pastries, which are sometimes billed as healthy snacks.
It can be hard to find a brand of cold cereal that doesn’t have dye in it, in fact. Recently, General Mills tried to remove artificial dyes and replace them with natural coloring. Consumers complained a lot about the resulting dull colors, however.
Even if the food isn’t red, it may still contain red dye 40 since the dye is often mixed with other color dyes to make non-red foods more appealing. Is FD&C Red 40 Toxic?
However, products containing red 40 and the isolated dye itself are commonly tested on lab animals. Looking at things this way, artificial food coloring isn’t cruelty-free and so can’t be considered vegan-friendly at all.
What foods contain red dye?
As one of the most widely used color additives, Red Dye 40 is found in a variety of foods and beverages, including ( 2#N#Trusted Source#N#): 1 Dairy products: flavored milk, yogurt, puddings, ice cream, and popsicles 2 Sweets and baked goods: cakes, pastries, candy, and chewing gum 3 Snacks and other items: breakfast cereals and bars, jello, fruit snacks, chips 4 Beverages: soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and powdered drink mixes, including some protein powders
It’s one of the nine certified color additives approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in foods and beverages ( 2 ).
Synthetic food colors are thought to cause behavioral symptoms in children because they may cause chemical changes in the brain, inflammation from an allergic response, and the depletion of minerals, such as zinc, that are involved in growth and development ( 24. Trusted Source.
Certified color additives must undergo FDA certification every time a new batch is produced to ensure they contain what they’re legally supposed to.
For this reason, synthetic color additives are used more widely than natural color additives.
Exempt color additives come from natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, minerals, and insects ( 4. Trusted Source. ). Manufacturers use color additives in foods and beverages to enhance naturally occurring colors, add color for visual appeal, and offset color loss that may occur due to storage conditions.
Given that manufacturers use Red Dye 40 along with several other food additives, it’s difficult to identify which ingredient — if any at all — is causing symptoms of an allergic reaction.
What foods have red dye 40?
The complete list of drinks and food with red dye 40 would include all types of processed foods, including some favorite childhood snacks. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves red dye 40 food only in specific categories: 1 Cereals 2 Confections 3 Gelatin 4 Dairy products 5 Drinks
Natural food dyes come from plant and animal sources, including some from bugs. Vegetarians and vegans should steer toward foods with plant-based or artificial coloring. According to the Vegetarian Journal’s Guide to Food Ingredients, red 40 is vegan in most cases.
Food manufacturers also sometimes use natural red food dyes, especially because many people try to avoid artificial colors. While both types of food dyes can give food an appealing look, the difference is in the source material. As the ACS explains, artificial food dyes used to come from coal.
If you are going to have a medical procedure soon, your doctor may instruct you on eating clear foods in the hours leading up to the procedure. Sometimes, this includes certain flavors of gelatin cups, but colonoscopy patients must avoid red dye 40 before their procedures.
Companies cannot sell foods with red dye 40 in the United States if they do not fit into one of these categories. The FDA also states that any foods that contain this additive must include it in the ingredients list. However, the organization does not regulate how much artificial food coloring can be in the products.
How to tell if food dye has red 40?
The red food dye can mix with other colors to create specific effects, so the only way to find out if something contains Red 40 is to read the label. The tricky thing with labels is that these food additives aren’t always listed with the same terms.
Common side effects reported by consumers, parents, medical professionals, and others include: Allergic reactions, such as hives, rashes, swelling around the mouth, and others. Hyperactivity in children (with or without ADD or ADHD)
Allura red is a lab-manufactured dye that’s used as a colorant in food, cosmetics, over-the-counter medicines, and even prescription drugs. It’s what creates the bright red color in sodas, sauces, and cherry-flavored cough syrups. It’s often the red used to color cosmetics and other items used on the skin, as well.
You might also come across the name red 40 lake or red 40 aluminum lake. A lake is a slightly different chemical preparation from food dye and is non-water soluble. A chemical compound (in this case, aluminum hydroxide) is mixed with the dye base. Red food dye lake is what is commonly used for things like cosmetics, red medicine coatings, …
It’s often the red used to color cosmetics and other items used on the skin, as well. You won’t just find it in red-colored products, though. This food coloring is used to add color to pickles, chocolate pudding, flavored chips, and many other treats.
Symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions to red 40 (and other related food dyes) include: Itchy skin. Hives. Itchy mouth, throat, lips, and/or tongue. Headaches.
While it’s quite clear that this red addit ive is a man-made substance, it’s not obvious how it is made or what’s in it. Originally, the dye was produced from coal tar, but is now created from petroleum mixed with a cocktail of chemicals that aren’t good for humans, animals, or the environment.