FOOD COLOR LABELLING- Natural or exempt colors and Artificial or Certified colors


Food Color Labelling



Exempt Colours must be listed in a product’s ingredients list. According to the FDA’s labelling rules, they can be declared in one of these ways: as “Artificial Colour,” “Artificial Colour Added” or “Colour Added” (or by an equally informative term that makes clear that a colour additive has been used in the food). Alternatively, such colour additives may be declared as “Coloured with ____” or “____ colour”, the blank to be filled with the name of the colour additive.

If a certified colour is used, it must be explicitly declared on the ingredient list, as “FD&C Red Dye #40” or “Red 40” So if you are reading a products list of ingredients and all you see is the nonspecific “artificial colour” then you can be sure it’s not a certified colour. It may be beet juice extract, it might be carmine or it could be caramel colour, but it’s certain that it’s not Red 40 or artificial colour.


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