Can you imagine the world without the vivid colors? Now imagine all our foods having just a simple white color, just like our rice! Why do you think all those confections are always very colorful? It is because colors have a strong impact on our emotions and feelings. It is the first notable characteristics of a food and often used as a way to judge the quality of a food. Bright, vivid color is always very appealing. Because color attracts people to food and is said to stimulate appetite, the appeal of processed foods is tremendously increased through added colorants. So, shall we explore the colorful world colors?

"Nearly everyone recognizes the relationship between a food's color and its appeal. Children seem to instinctively gravitate toward the most brightly colored candy in the store. Adults prefer their cheese crackers with a golden hue. Even the animal kingdom is not immune: birds know that the red of a strawberry signals a sweet taste treat, while the green ones are better left until another day" (Food Product Design). Blank_spacer.pngRead selected articles below, make a note and try to answer some of the questions to test your understanding. Feel free to add links to other articles.
  • Colors Au Naturel
  • Coloring Confections - This is a good article discussing factors to consider when choosing colors in a real product, in this case, confections.
  • Coloring With Confidence - Another article discussing a few key considerations when choosing color for specific application.
  • Coloring Options - This is an article from the latest issue (July 2010) of Prepared Foods magazine. See what's the option manufacturers have when choosing colors in the light of ever changing regulations.
  • Naturally Colorful - Read this article to learn about the challenges when using natural colors in food.

video-icon.jpgVideo on Demand - These are collection of recorded presentation on Prepared Foods website; the presentation is given by industry application specialist on the subject of food colors. This is the opportunity to listen to the experienced industry people because we cannot invite them to USM (no budget!). Feel free to listen to any of the presentation. Some of the presentations can be downloaded using Real Player (download the free version). You can even convert it to 3GP format so that you can view it on your handphone!! nice to learn nowadays...learn anywhere, anytime, even when lying on the bed! This is what we call now as mobile learning.

I suggest at least listen to a few presentations below (and the rest I hope you can explore at your convenience):
  • Designing Color Systems for Application - A presentation from Chr.Hansen Inc., a food color specialist. Good introduction to food colors - common forms of food color, factors to consider when choosing colors for specific application, and types of color formulation systems. Must listen! (and watch!).
  • Natural Dyes and Pigments - Another introductory presentation on food colors. This one is from Food Product Design website. You have to register first before you can view the presentation (it just take a minute).
  • Color and Confectionery Applications - The presentation begins with a brief review of color and color perception (how human perceive colors), types of food colors and then continue to elaborate on their application in confectionery products.
  • Colors and Color Perception - The presentation covers: Classifying and understanding colorants, using fruit and vegetable colorants;and internal and external considerations for product optimization.
  • Natural Solutions to Coloring Foods - This presentation talks specifically on using natural carotenes as natural color.
  • Natural Colors: Application and Health Benefits - Topics covered: why use natural colors?; functional foods market overview; health benefits of natural colors; application overview.
  • Natural and Nature Identical Colors - Good discussion on natural colors from various natural sources.
  • Caramel Colors 101 - Ever thought about the brown color of Coca Cola, Pepsi or root beer? Here's your opportunity to learn about caramel color!