Natural Food Color is any dye obtained from any vegetable, animal or mineral, that is capable of coloring food, drugs, cosmetics or any part of human body. These natural colors come from variety of sources such as seeds, fruits and vegetables, leaves, algae & insects. According to the application a suitable Natural Color can be achieved by keeping in mind the factors such as pH. heat, light, storage and the other ingredients.
As per FDA color pigments having a natural origin are exempt from certification. It does not carry any categorization as natural or synthetic. The reason is that the source may be natural but it may or may not be natural to the product it is added to.
There are 26 colors permitted to be used in food and 28 to be used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. A few commonly used natural colors are Annatto(seed), turmeric, beet juice (root), red Cabbage (vegetable), spinach (leaf).