This glossary is an abridged and modestly updated version of one originally published in Cereal Foods World (April 1995 Vol. 40. No. 4). It is reprinted here with the kind permission of CFW and that of the authors; Penny Martin, currently Principal Scientist, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Dave Frick, currently Vice President, Viveri Food Colors.
In any field, industry jargon rolls off the tongues of the experts, lending credibility to their position and, occasionally, intimidating the listener. It is certainly this way in the specialized arena of food colors—a unique mix of science, art, marketing, and law. Toss in an expanding global marketplace (with little commonality of regulations, nomenclature, or specifications), a rapidly changing domestic market driven by social media, marketing, and NGOs, and the typical food scientist is often at a loss to decipher the myriad terms.
With this in mind, we offer the following glossary. Rather than cover each topic in detail, we provide the reader with general information of global significance.
Obviously, our experience is greatest with the colorants permitted in the United States, so the reader may note less information on some of the lesser used colorants. However, because naturally sourced colors are typically more sensitive to the variables in food formulations and processes, additional information has been provided on these colorants.