Artificial Colour Free
The appeal of colourful food seems to capture our attention, but unfortunately, these colours aren’t always derived from the beautiful natural hues of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Artificial colours can be a common ingredient in processed foods, and surprisingly can even feature in supplements. While some countries have restrictions on the types of artificial colours added into consumable products, New Zealand hasn’t restricted the use of artificial colours. The effects of these additives in sensitive individuals can include hyperactivity in children, skin sensitivities and digestive complaints, among other things.
What isn’t so well understood is how these colours are manufactured, which can be from a variety of sources, from fossil fuel sourced to insects. Luckily the use of artificial colours must be on the food labels and so with some education, it is easy to spot these additives, they can be listed as a colour or as a number. For example, E102, Tartrazine, the bright yellow colour. However, they don’t have to be listed on supplement labels.
Often supplements that are ‘free from artificial colours’ contain natural colours that are food based and provide additions of their own specific phytonutrients to the products even if it is in small quantities. Think antioxidants; these are abundant because of the vibrant colours of wholefoods. Beetroot extract, purple carrot powder, black carrot powder, turmeric and Maqui berry concentrate are some natural colours that are used in many Children’s multi vitamins and other supplements to improve their colour.