Journal of AOAC International, Vol. 101. (epublished ahead of print)
This guest editorial is not about the food dyes we know and don’t love — it’s about inedible, dangerous food dyes that are used illegally in foods. There is a constant race between those trying to sneak this stuff into food and those trying to prevent them and detect their efforts.
QUOTE (from abstract): “In the past decades, the illegal addition of the inedible colorants has become one of the major issues of food safety.”
We know the approved synthetic colorants are often used because they are cheaper than natural colorants or (gasp) real food … but it appears that the illegal dyes are even cheaper. The authors lay it out plainly in their text —
QUOTE: “…industrial dyes with the features of strong coloring ability and low price have been illegally added in food products in recent years by some vile food manufacturers.”
The article goes on to describe foods we would not suspect because we would consider them natural — eggs with deeply colored yolks (because of the dyes fed the hens), tofu, and yellow fish –and they describe the various methods by which these dyes are detected.