When you go to the grocery store, you usually check the “expiry date” on food.
The expiry date label shows the food is high-quality standard before the mentioned expiry date. It is printed by manufacturers for the safety of a buyer.
But does food coloring expire?
Then my answer is – “No, food coloring does not expire. It is safe to consume even after the expiry date.”
Here I will tell you, some essential thoughts about food coloring and its expiration. Let’s have a look.
So here we go!
Table of Contents
Food Coloring Needs and Benefits
We can not imagine any food without color! Nowadays, food colors are available in many forms like liquid, powder, gel, paste, etc.
You might be using food colors to make your dish more appealing, attractive and appetizing. It also used in many commercial food products.
Food colors help to make food more attractive and informative. It balances the color loss due to extreme temperature, light, air, moisture, etc.
The artificial colors are useful to enhance the natural color of food. The colors helps the consumer to recognize the product. Like whether it is candy or medicine tablets.
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Types of Food Coloring
Before get to know about the food color expiration, you need to know the different types of food color and how it is made. So that it will be easy for you to get to know about its expiration process.
There is an awesome time on holidays when you make candies, icing, sweets for your kids. Without food colors, it won’t look attractive or appealing. But do you know, there is not just liquid food colors but also different types of food colors available. You can use these food colors according to your recipe calls for.
The following are the different types of food colors you can use for your favorite dishes.
1. Traditional Liquid food color
Liquid food colors are synthetic coloring with the base of water. They are easily available in any grocery store. It is usually inexpensive and packed in plastic bottles.
If you want lighter tint for your dish, it is useful. You just need to add some drops of traditional liquid food color in food to make it colorful.
2. Liquid Gel dye
Liquid gel dye is alike to traditional liquid food color, but it consists of base of water, glycerine or corn syrup.
But the difference between traditional and liquid gel is that thick consistency. Liquid gel dye is much thicker than traditional liquid food color.
Its availability is also lesser than the traditional one. This color is mostly used for creating vivid colors.
3. Gel paste dye.
Gel paste dye is made up of synthetic coloring having water, glycerine, and corn syrup base like liquid gel dye. It is available only in specialty store in small jar or pots.
The gel paste dye is a more concentrated form of coloring than liquid gel dye. As they are very thick in consistency, it is good to dip a toothpick in the gel paste and take a very small amount of color to use.
As it is a very effective color, it is used to give a bold look to a large batch of food.
4. Powdered dye
Powdered coloring is synthetic coloring without water, glycerine and corn syrup. It won’t get dry like other liquid food colors.
A powdered dye is sold in a grocery stores in jars. They are useful when a recipe is liquid sensitive like meringues, chocolate.
If you want the dark color to your recipe, then it is useful for coloring food. It has a longer shelf life than another food coloring.
5. Natural food coloring
Natural food coloring made up of natural or plant sources. It is available in small dropper bottles.
If you have an allergy of synthetic coloring, natural coloring is the best option for you.
It is not easily available in the grocery store. You can find only it online (You can find here the best natural food colors on Amazon) or specialty store. They are somewhat expensive than other types of food colors.
Gel Food Color Vs Liquid Food Color
Gel food color is made from synthetic coloring having water, glycerine, corn syrup base. It is more concentrated than liquid food color. So it has less liquidy consistency than liquid food color.
You can use gel food color when you want a vibrant color to your dish. It is great to use when you don’t want to add liquid in your food which you are dying. It is commonly used for making candy, icing with bright colors, cupcakes, etc.
Whereas liquid food color is a synthetic color with just a water base. As it has primarily water base, it is more liquidy than gel food color. It is low in concentration than gel food colors.
Liquid food color is used for the thick dough, icing, Easter egg dyes recipes. But you need to balance the amount of liquid when using it for any recipe due to its more liquidy form.
It is inexpensive and easily available in any grocery store.
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Does Food Color Affect The Taste of Food?
As I mentioned above, there are different types of food colors available. Natural food colors like turmeric or mint syrup or powder may affect the taste of food.
Synthetic food coloring also has a little bitter taste. But it doesn’t affect the taste as it is normally concentrated. You need to use it in very little quantity. So, you cannot recognize the existence by taste.
The only exception is of red synthetic coloring. Red food color may affect the taste only if uses in large quantities.
Many other studies show that in different age groups people, there is a multi sensory perception of flavor related to food due to its food color. The perception may be good or bad as per the colorant quantity used.
Does Food Coloring Expire?
If you are using food color to make your food attractive, then you might have a question in mind that, do they expire?
I say, no, food color will not expire. You can use it even after the expiration date passes.
Because food color doesn’t have raw ingredients that will expire. There is no point in throwing out food color which passes its expiration date.
If your food color, changes its color it is the sign that you should throw it out. Even if you notice a change in consistency, don’t use it anymore.
But you should make sure, it is packed well-sealed so that it won’t contaminate from dust.