Food dyes

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Food dyes are used mainly in the confectionery industry and production of drinks (nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverage). The special attention in the hygienic relation is required by synthetic dyes, many of which were unhealthy. So, Sudan-III and naphthol applied as food dyes yellow are excluded from the list of the allowed dyes in connection with their potential danger in the cancerogenic relation.

In the latest time (1970) one of the most widespread synthetic dyes - amaranth is withdrawn from the use (red). From synthetic dyes are used tartrazine (yellow) in the confectionery industry and in production of drinks and ultramarine (mineral dye) in production of cast refined sugar now.

Natural dyes mainly pigments of plant origin, and also pigments of some insects are more widely used. So, for example, natural red dye carmine (dye - carminic acid) is received from the insect of the cochineal insect living in Algeria, Mexico. The plant indigo cultivated in Africa, America, India is source of natural blue dye of indigo carmine. Yellow paint turmeric is received from root of plant of the similar name cultivated in China and on Sunda Islands.


The saffron is widespread as dye. It is received from flowers of iris plant Crocus sativus L. The saffron is cultivated in Azerbaijani by the Soviet Socialist Republic. The saffron presents itself flower stigmas in the form of the yellow-orange threads reminding the tobacco premiums on appearance.

yellow yellow and red blue and green
for fats confectionery and drinks for cheeses
1. Annato
2. Carotene
3. Pigment from marigold
4. KMSh (from dogrose)
1. Saffron
2. Turmeric
1. Carmine
2. Enokrasitel (from grapes)
1. Trigonella

The saffron in confectionery, baking and liqueur production is applied. Dyes of saffron depend on availability in its composition of glucoside of crocin. The saffron of high quality in number of 0,1 g has to paint 3 l of water in intensively yellow color.

Is part of saffron:

  • moisture of 15,6%
  • nitrogenous substances of 12,4%
  • extract nitrogen-free substances of 43,6%
  • sugary substances of 13,3%
  • fat of 5,6%
  • essential oil of 0,6%
  • celluloses of 4,5%
  • ashes of 4,3%

According to the standard, in saffron of water no more than 15%, ashes no more than 7%, sand no more than 0,5% are allowed.


As natural dye the safflower as saffron substitute can be used.

Safflower dye - safflower - contains in red-orange petals of nimbus.

The safflower is cultivated in some republics, mainly as oily plant for receiving food oil and drying oil.

As food dye safflower finds limited application.