4 months ago

Attractive colors in children's snacks are one way to get your little one to glance and be interested in trying them. Although the shape and color are beautiful and attractive, you must be careful whether the dyes used are safe for the body.

Food coloring is divided into two, namely natural dyes and synthetic or chemical dyes. Natural dyes are made from natural materials, such as plants, animals, and minerals, while synthetic dyes are made from a mixture of two or more chemicals or substances.

Some examples of natural dyes that are safe to use according to the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) of the Republic of Indonesia include curcumin, chlorophyll, beetroot, carotenoids, and several other types, while synthetic dyes may be used in limited quantities. Even though BPOM already has provisions on safe dyes for food, there are still non-food dyes mixed into food ingredients by irresponsible producers.

One of the textile dyes that are often used is Rhodamine B. 

  • This material is often used as food coloring because the price is relatively cheaper than synthetic dyes for food, the resulting color is more attractive, and the level of color stability is better than natural dyes.
  • Rhodamin B is often misused in the manufacture of crackers, shrimp paste, ground red chilies, agar-agar, aromatics/confectionery, sweets, sausages, syrups, beverages, and others. 
  • How to recognize foods that use Rhodamine B? Generally, the color of the food is brighter and shiny, when consumed the food tastes a bit bitter, and the throat feels itchy or uncomfortable after consuming food with artificial coloring.
  • Reporting from the BPOM, in general, the dangers of consuming Rhodamine B will appear if this dye is consumed in the long term. Long-term consumption of Rhodamine B can accumulate in the body and can cause symptoms of enlarged liver and kidneys, impaired liver function, liver damage, physiological disorders of the body, or can even cause liver cancer.

To prevent your little one get exposed to the dangers of textile dyes found in food, it is important for you, parents, and families, not to let them eat snacks carelessly.

First, read food labels and find out if there are harmful substances in the food. Generally, this will be listed on the food label and the type of coloring.

Given the long-term effects, eating home-cooked food is the safest thing for your little one. Use natural dyes if you want to make children's snacks with beautiful and attractive colors.