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What is FD&C?

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Food Coloring ingredients are referred to by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation as 'color additives'. All ingredients approved for use in food products are codified by the FDA which specifies legal guidelines for manufacturers and labeling requirements. FD&C colors are defined by regulation as 'requiring certification', which means that each batch produced is tested by both the manufacturer and the FDA. This approval process assures a standardized strength and quality color additive deemed safe for consumption. It is precisely these factors which lend to the popularity of 'certifiable' (FD&C) colors with their inherent consistency.

Benefits of Certified (FD&C)

  • More intense coloring ability than most colors derived from natural products
  • Color uniformity and stability is guaranteed
  • Generally do not impart undesirable flavors or aroma

The possible negative aspect of using FD&C ingredients generally revolves around the public perception of use in food products. Despite several attempts to reclassify certain FD&C colors, the current approved colors are subject to rigorous standards of safety prior to use. The FDA maintains, "Whether a color additive is certifiable or exempt from certification has no bearing on its overall safety."


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