Food Dyes

Color measurement for quality and consistency control in food dyes (food colorants) using Sensegood spectrophotometer

Off colored foods are generally considered inferior in quality hence colors are added. Colors can also protect vitamins and flavors that may be affected by sunlight during the storage. Study reveals that the color of the food can influence the perceived flavor. [1],[2],[3]

Natural food dyes include spray dried powder of chikoo (sapota), mango, jamun (black plum), tomato, bottle gourd, ginger, lemon, pomegranate, beet root, banana, water melon, pineapple, papaya (carica), garlic, carrot, orange, coriander, potato, spinach, red onion, to name a few.

Artificial food dyes are responsible for the bright colors of candy, sports drinks and baked goods. The most popular artificial food dyes are Red 40 (Allura Red), Yellow 5 (Tartrazine) and Yellow 6 (Sunset Yellow). These three make up to 90% of all the food dyes that are used in the US [4].

Sensegood spectrophotometer is analytical color measurement instrument that is widely accepted in industry and research fraternity for reliability. From raw material to final product, it comprehensively evaluates the color attributes of various samples, including solids, liquids, powders and pastes. Large viewing area (sensor’s field of view) and rotating sample platform averages out sample and produces accurate repeatable color attributes. As a result, consistency can be maintained and quality standards can be met with less waste, time, and effort. Sensegood spectrophotometer is the versatile device that is engineered to work as handheld/portable, benchtop/table-top or in-process/online color measurement instrument.

Be it natural or artificial color, maintaining the authenticity of true color representation of food dye is the first preference for any manufacturer. Sensegood spectrophotometer helps in picking up even the slightest change in food dye color over the production batches. Sensegood spectrophotometer helps in finding the difference between two colors and shows result in percentage match. This helps particularly in maintaining the consistency in mixed color sample lots.

References :

  1. Mielby, L. A., Wang, Q. J., Jensen, S., Bertelsen, A. S., Kidmose, U., Spence, C., & Byrne, D. V. (2018). See, Feel, Taste: The Influence of Receptacle Colour and Weight on the Evaluation of Flavoured Carbonated Beverages. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 7(8)
  2. Spence, C. On the psychological impact of food colour. Flavour 4, 21 (2015).
  3. Does the Color of Foods and Drinks Affect The Sense of Taste?: Compilation available at University of Washington website:
  4. Potera C. (2010). Diet and Nutrition: The Artificial Food Dye Blues. Environmental health perspectives, 118(10), A428.

This article is about the use of spectrophotometer or full spectrum colorimeter for color measurement in food dyes/ food colors.