Edible Colours & Flavours Testing

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Edible Colours & Flavours Testing- fare labs

Food colour is a dye, pigment, or other chemical that is synthesised, extracted, isolated, or otherwise generated from plants, animals, or other sources and then added to food to give it colour. Color has a huge impact on food and the decisions that customers make since colour, along with other factors like flavour and taste, plays a big role in how we perceive the food we eat.

Food colours are used in a variety of foods, including margarine, oils, cheese, fish and shellfish, spices, jams, ice cream, baked goods, sweets, confectionery, snacks, (dairy) drinks, and processed food products, among others. Natural and synthetic food colours can be distinguished. Natural colours are simply any dye or pigment derived from a plant, animal, or even mineral that can be used in food. Chemical processes produce synthetic food colours, which are widely utilised in the food and medical industries. Natural components or additives are always preferred by customers over artificial ones. Artificial colourants, on the other hand, are more brilliant than natural colourants. Synthetic colours that have been tested and certified are also popular since they are less expensive, produce uniform hues, and are easy to blend.

Whether food is coloured naturally or artificially, it must match the required specifications as set down by law. The usage of food colours in India is governed by a set of guidelines. In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Requirements, 2011, the FSSAI regulations for food colouring are described under the category ‘3.2.2 -Food Colors.’ The FSSAI allows the use of the following colourants, whether they are naturally derived or man-made.


  • Carotene & Carotenoids including Beta-carotene, Beta-apo 8′- carotenal, Methyl ester of Beta-apo 8′ carotenoic acid, Ethyl ester of Beta-apo 8′ carotenoic acid,
  • Canthaxanthin
  • Chlorophyll;
  • Riboflavin (Lactoflavin).
  • Caramel
  • Annatto
  • Saffron
  • Curcumin or turmeric

FSSAI sets maximum limits for the use of synthetic colors in Table 1 of Compendium of Food additives. This is usually 100 parts per million of the final food or beverages for consumption. However, for few foods and beverages, the permitted maximum limit of synthetic food colours may be up to and should not exceed 200 parts per million of the final food or beverages for consumption. The labelling protocol about the food colours on the product shall be in accordance with the FSS (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

  • Red from: Ponceau 4R, Carmoisine, and Erythrosine
  • Yellow from: Tartrazine and Sunset Yellow FCF
  • Blue from: Indigo Carmine and Brilliant Blue FCF
  • Green from: Fast Green FCF
  • Permitted synthetic food colours by HPLC
  • Illegal or prohibited dyes using LC-MS/MS
  • Detection of natural added food colours
  • Detection of the natural dye annatto (E160b) in spices
  • Natural product testing using the Carbon-14 method at Eurofins group labs. This method aims to distinguish between plant-derived and petroleum-derived material. In accordance with ASTM D6866 or ISO 16620-2 to measure accurately the presence of petrochemical based materials.
  • Detection of organic and inorganic contaminants in food colours
  • Complete testing as per FSSAI

FARE Labs provides ISO/IEC 17025 training to students pursuing graduation/post-graduation from various universities and institutes. Hands-on training to the staff provides them an opportunity to understand the working of sophisticated instruments.  Our comprehensive training programs are designed to provide in depth knowledge of Indian and International standards focusing on quality management systems and technical competence for laboratories. Join us at FARE Labs Pvt. Ltd to become a qualified professional in a rapidly evolving field of testing and calibration.

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