Cochineal red is present in salami, in Campari, in red ice-cream and a strawberry frappucino from Starbucks. There is no danger but people just don’t like the idea. Insects grows on cacti in Mexico. Every so often, insect is picked up and crushed snd the juice is used as colouring. It is only the female used to produce the colouring agent. The male has wings and the female is wingless. It is only the female that car- ries the colouring as it is present in female eggs. Video 4 Cochineal even in minimal quantities gives a very intense red colour. It is water sol- uble. There is absolutely no danger in drinking it. Video 5 Synthetic Colours The names of synthetic colours vary in Canada, the US and Europe. Two colours are restricted in Canada and two are banned and one restricted in the US. These colours are known as coal tar dyes. There are very strong colours. The term used for syn- thetic colours is certified which means its manufacturing process has been checked and will give what it is supposed to give. Citric Red #2 is restricted which means it can be used in food but under =certain conditions. It was used to colour the skin of orange juice. Certain oranges because of the Hugh chlorophyl content stay green. So we add dye to give oranges their colour. Even if the oranges are green and they are perfectly ripe. Video 6 Concerns about certified dyes Dr. Ben F. Feingold came with the theory that food fits were associated with hyper- activity in children. In 2007, a study showed that it was a concern and in 2011, a study showed that it was not a concern so it is very difficult to judge. There are some good reasons to stay away from food dyes. Food dyes are found in foods that are poor in nutritional values so this must be the concern rather than hy- peractivity. Video 7 Food dyes
Yellow #5 (Tartrazine) This dye must be indicated by name on label. Some people suffer from allergic reactions to yellow #5. Red #2 (Amarth) is banned in the US but is allowed in Canada. Red #40 (Allura Red) was allowed in US and banned in Canada but now allowed in both. Red dye #3 was investigated in potentially causing cancer. A chemical is classified as a human carcinogen if it causes cancer in test animals and when people who are exposed tot he chemical exhibit a higher cancer rate. High dose animal study may not reflect human exposure and risk. Male rats had a higher incidence of thyroid tumours when under red dye #3. For a male human to have these tumours as in rats, they may consume an equivalent of 14000 daily serving of fruit cocktails for 70 years. So when there is an association it does not imply causation. It is not a cause to ef- fect relation. The presence of a chemical does not equate with the presence of risk. One must distinguish between hazard (toxicity) and risk.
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