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Artificial colors are one of the chemical compounds to avoid in the 21st century, since, by providing neither flavor nor aroma nor increasing the shelf life of food, they are still a merely aesthetic additive. Furthermore, some of them, such as tartrazine (E102), are harmful to health, since it is extensively related to headaches, hyperactivity and insomnia in children, its use being prohibited in children under 3 years of age in some European countries.
What natural alternatives do parents have? In Guiainfantil.com We tell you what natural colorants you can use in your recipes.
In addition to yellow tartrazine, dye E110, which provides an orange color in food, could cause kidney damage at high concentrations, although its use is relatively safe at concentrations used in the food industry.
Coloring E124, which provides red color to food, could be related to hyperactivity disorders in childhood, in addition to producing adverse reactions in people sensitive to salicylic acid, and has been banned in some countries of the European Union.
However, the relevant organizations have not made any changes to the daily amount considered safe, as there is not enough evidence to ensure that the changes in behavior are due to the consumption of this dye. However, although there is no scientific evidence to show that it causes hyperactivity, the consumption of E124, as well as other colorants like E129, could trigger its appearance in children genetically predisposed to it.
In an attempt to avoid the use of these and other artificial colors, and in homemade products, natural alternatives can be used that provide the desired colors without adding any risk to health.
Although there are other alternatives, such as raspberries, Unlike these, beets provide a red or pink color without adding almost any flavor to the food. In a similar way, blueberries or blackberries they can be used to provide colors in the range of blues and purples, although the star in this case is red cabbage. As such, this food provides an intense purple color, while adding a little baking soda to the cooking water turns it blue.
The carrot is very useful if the color you want to achieve is orange. When it comes to taste, carrots have a slightly sweet touch, although it doesn't have to be inappropriate even if the dish is salty. Citrus fruits, despite the intensity of the orange or yellow color of their skin or pulp, are not very useful as food coloring.
To provide a yellow color, saffron or turmeric are the most appropriate, although unfortunately they do provide flavor to food, so you have to be careful with the whole dish.
As for the green color, spinach, although it seems incredible, does not provide any flavor to food, so it can be used without any fear even in sweet dishes. Chlorophyll is, in particular, what provides this intense color, and it can also be incorporated as such to food, since liquid chlorophyll is a fairly accessible additive.
You can read more articles similar to Natural colorants for your children's recipes, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.