Spirulina Extract Approved as Blue Dye Alternative to Artificial Colors

Spirulina Extract Approved as Blue Dye Alternative to Artificial Colors

Spirulina, the super nutrient dense blue-green cyanobacteria (commonly called an algae, which it is not quite) has been given approval by the FDA to be used as a source of blue coloring in candy and gum products as a replacement for artificial colors, reports Food Navigator.

"Until now, no natural blue has been available, while alfalfa-based sodium copper chlorohyllin (a natural green) is only approved for certain applications (citrus-based dry beverage mixes), cites Food Navigator.

Read more about spirulina

The approval of spirulina as a food coloring, while limited to the candy, gum and confection category, does open up the dialogue and hopefully, more opportunities for brands to employ natural coloring options.

Applause over the decision came quickly from the natural food industry, where producers are already working to offer spirulina-based blue dye. Natural colors expert Elijah Church told Food Navigator "spirulina is easy to work with and stands up very well to the acidic environment of candy and gum whereas other blue natural pigments do not."

Artificial colors are one of the Scary Seven categories we recommend avoiding because of known health risks, primarily to children. FD&C Blue #1 ('Brilliant Blue FCF') is found in a number of gum, candy and confection products as well as ice creams and popsicles, cereals, canned foods, yogurts and more.

Read more about artificial colors

Food dyes including FD&C Blue #1 have been linked to a number of serious health issues including ADHD, allergies and even cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has said “These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody.”

Image: aka quique

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Andrea Donsky, B. COMM is an international TV Health Expert, Best Selling Author, Nutritionist Podcast Host, and Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a recipient of Healthline’s Best Healthy Living Blogs for 2019. As a pioneer and visionary in the health food industry, Andrea’s passion is to inspire people to make healthier choices. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur ("She Boss!") to educate the public on living a healthy lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, podcasts, videos, talks, and TV and radio media appearances. Andrea founded Naturally Savvy Media Inc. in 2007 in order to share her passion for healthy living, and love for natural products and companies. Among her numerous publications, Andrea co-authored Unjunk your Junk Food published by Simon and Schuster, a book that journalist, author and mother Maria Shriver endorsed: “Unjunk Your Junk Food has certainly made me more aware about the food that my children eat and the effects it has on our body and mind."</P. Andrea also co-authored two e-books entitled Label Lessons: Your Guide To A Healthy Shopping Cart, and Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.