The color of food is an integral part of our culture and enjoyment of life. They have been used to enhance the aesthetic value of foods. In the early civilizations like of the Romans and the Egyptians, food color was used in candies and beverages. Saffron, turmeric and paprika etc were the traditional food colorants. The use of colorants in cosmetics can be traced to the early Egyptian transcripts.
Today all food color additives are carefully regulated by federal authorities to ensure that foods are safe to eat and accurately labeled.
Butter has been colored yellow as far back as the 1300s.
In nineteenth century, synthetic organic dyes were developed creating, a more economical and wider range of colorants. Since then their quality has been improved due extensive research and development.
Certifiable synthetic color additives are preferred over the natural for their coloring ability. They need to be added in smaller quantities, are more stable and provide a wide range of hues. Certifiable color additives generally do not impart undesirable flavors to foods, while color derived from foods such as beets and cranberries can produce such unintended effects.