People associate certain colors with certain flavors, and the color of food can influence the perceived flavor, in anything from candy to wine. For this reason, food manufacturers add dyes to their products. Food colour is any substance that is added to food or drink to change its color. Food coloring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking. Due to its safety and general availability, food coloring is also used in a variety of non-food applications, for example in home craft projects and educational settings
A growing number of natural food colours are being commercially produced, partly due to consumer concerns surrounding synthetic dyes. Some examples include:
· caramel coloring, made from caramelized sugar, used in cola products and also in cosmetics.
· annatto, a reddish-orange dye made from the seed of the achiote.
· a green dye made from chlorella algae.
· cochineal, a red dye derived from the cochineal insect, dactylopius coccus.
· betanin extracted from beets.
· elderberry juice
a number of artifical food colours are produced too. Because food dyes are generally safer to use than normal artistic dyes and pigments, some artists have used food coloring as a means of making pictures, especially in forms such as body-painting. Food colorings can be used to dye fabric, but are usually not washfast when used on cotton, hemp and other plant fibres. Some food dyes can be fixed on nylon and animal fibers. Red food dye is often used as theatrical blood.