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A Rainbow of Natural Food Colourings used in Vegan Sweets!

A Rainbow of Natural Food Colourings used in Vegan Sweets!

Did you know that insects are sometimes used to colour sweets?! We talk about how they are sometimes discreetly hidden in ingredients lists in our post covering some of the top fun sweet facts! In vegan sweets, however, there can be no colours derived from any insects or animals, so what other natural food colourings are used in vegan sweets?

Natural food colourings used in vegan sweets

There’s a whole rainbow of colours that can be used — some are synthetic and others extracted naturally. However, more and more vegan brands are choosing to favour more natural colourings in their ingredient lists. One of our classic British favourites, Rowntree’s Jelly Tots, are made using natural colours and flavours, and they’re vegan too!

Discover a tasty rainbow of natural food colours below that are used in many of our vegan pick n mix sweets!

Black carrot concentrate is used to make reds and pinks!

Black carrot concentrate can be used to create vibrant reds, purples and even pink! As the name suggests, it’s extracted from a special variety of black carrots.

A big pile of black carrots fills the screen. They're more dark red than black.

Black carrots! | Photo by Chandan Chaurasia on Unsplash 

Betanin is used to make reds and pinks!

Like black carrot concentrate, betanin can create vibrant and tasty looking reds and pinks. It’s often known as E162, and it’s extracted from beets.

A pile of pinky red sugar granules covers the whole image. Betanin is one of the most popular natural food colourings used in vegan sweets.

Red sugar | Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash 

Carotenes are used to make orange!

As the name suggests, carotene is extracted from our favourite bright orange veg, the carrot! Carotene is used to make the tiny orange Jelly Tots. You might see it referred to as E160a on ingredients lists.

A pattern of carrots laid out all facing the same direction on an orange background.

Carrots! | Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash 

Caramel colouring is used to make a golden caramel colour!

A common find in cola flavoured sweets, like Fizzy Cola Bottles or our Bubs Cola Skulls! It’s created by boiling sugar to create caramel, and it creates a warm, brown, caramel colour. As we love cola sweets so much, it’s one of the most popular natural food colourings used in vegan sweets!

A close up of fizzy cola bottles coated in sugar

Our vegan fizzy cola bottles

Curcumin is used to make yellow!

The wonderful bright yellow colour found on one half of our Bubs Raspberry and Lemon skulls contains E100, otherwise known as curcumin! E100 is its official name given by the European Union. It’s extracted from the root of the turmeric plant!

A metal spoon holding bright yellow turmeric powder against a black background.

Turmeric | Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Copper Complexes of Chlorophyllins are used to make green!

It’s a pretty long name, but you can call it E141 for short! This fabulous pigment can be used to create many shades of green, and it’s extracted from a plant called alfalfa (Medicago sativa). It’s a colour that’s used in our Bubs Tutti Fruitti foams!

A dense field of bright green alfalfa

A field of alfalfa | Photo by Lamiot on Wikimedia Commons

Anthocyanins are used to make purple!

Anthocyanins are most commonly extracted from blue and purple fruits and vegetables and even some flowers! They’re a lovely natural colouring and they can create vibrant shades of purple. Its official name is E163.

a close up of a purple cabbage head

Purple cabbage is often used for anthocyanin extracts! | Photo by Joe Dudeck on Unsplash 

Is there a natural blue food colouring?

Blue is a difficult colour to source and therefore it’s very rare to find a naturally extracted blue colour. E133, sometimes known as ‘brilliant blue’ or ‘Blue No.1’, is a popular source of blue for many sweets and foods. While blue sweets are vegan, they’re made with a synthetic colour, so it’s not always favoured by many natural brands. You may also come across ‘Blue 2 Lake’ or E132 which is also a synthetic blue colour.

A blue tangled mix of blue laces coated in sugar.

Our fizzy blue laces

Featured Image: A close up of rainbow dust | Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash 

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