Food colours are food additives which are added to foods mainly for the following reasons:

  • to make up for colour losses following exposure to light, air, moisture and variations in temperature;
  • to enhance naturally occurring colours;
  • to add colour to foods that would otherwise be colourless or coloured differently.

Food colours are contained in many foods, including snack foods, margarine, cheese, jams and jellies, and desserts, drinks, etc. Each food colour authorised for use in the European Union (EU) is subject to a rigorous scientific safety assessment.