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When you were a toddler, you might have insisted on eating only one color of M&Ms because “Green tastes the best.” After some experimentation, you probably realized that the food coloring in M&Ms and other candies add only color, not flavor.
There are natural and artificial food colorings. One natural color is beet juice. The problem with beet juice is even though it can give almost anything a pretty pink color, it can also create a beet taste. Most candies have artificial colors. The U.S. government has approved seven, and their names appear over and over again on labels. Food coloring usually appears near the end of the ingredient list, because the list starts with the ingredient in the highest amount. For example, the first ingredient listed on a Skittles label is sugar. No surprise there. Another thing you might notice on candy labels is the term “Lake.” Lakes are dyes combined with salt, which makes them more stable and allows them to be dispersed in oils. Lakes are often used in low water products like hard candy and lipstick.
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