Food Colors: Natural or Not?
The color of food can send important messages about its quality.
Now, many food companies, including McDonald's and Kellogg's, say they will stop adding artificial colors to their products.
McDonald's announced in September that it had removed artificial colors from many of its hamburgers. Kellogg's has promised to remove them from its cereals by the end of this year.
What people accept as a normal color for food can change from place to place and over time. Until the 1980s, Americans expected pistachio nuts to be red. Pistachios were mostly imported from places where the nuts were dyed to cover spots.
Now, most pistachios sold in the United States are grown in the U.S. and have natural-colored shells.
But it is not just processed and boxed foods that create illusions with color.
Many cheddar cheeses contain a substance added called annatto, a plant extract commonly used for coloring.
Elizabeth Chubbuck, of Murray's Cheese in New York, said adding color comes from the time when cheesemakers in England took the butterfat from milk to make butter. The leftover milk was whiter. So, she said, cheesemakers added substances to recreate butterfat's golden color.
Another cheese that sometimes gets color added is mozzarella.
Sara Burnett is director of food policy at Panera Bread. She said mozzarella sometimes gets its bright white color from titanium dioxide, a common substance taken from nature.
Cathy Strange buys international cheeses for the food seller Whole Foods. She said the whitening is done because most mozzarella made in the U.S comes from cow's milk, which can have a yellow color.
She said in Italy, mozzarella is sometimes made with milk from water buffalo. The milk is whiter because the animal cannot digest beta carotene, an orange nutrient in many fruits and vegetables.
Many cooks think darker egg yolks are fresher or healthier. But the color may be the result of marigold petals, alfalfa or coloring products in food for chickens.
Elizabeth Bobeck is a professor at Iowa State University. She says that yolk color is mainly caused by the carotenoids that chickens eat. Carotenoids are a natural coloring in plants. "It's easy to change yolk colors" by simply changing what chickens eat, she said.
Bobeck added that darker yolks are not necessarily healthier. This belief may come from the idea that yolks are darker when chickens are fed fresh plants.
In salmon, a bright pink color is a sign of freshness to those buying the fish. Experts say this is why farmed salmon may have been fed food containing a man-made substance to make the flesh pinker.
The Food and Drug Administration notes that manufacturers have to declare on labeling if non-natural colors were used for salmon. For example, farmed salmon at Costco Wholesale stores is labeled "color added through feed."
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.artificial colors 人工色素
You don't even need to use artificial colors.
2.water buffalo 水牛
A herd of water buffalo charges down a dirt road in rural Laos.
3.food colors 食物色素
Synthetic food colors are a class of food additives which are widely used in food production.
4.be made with 由...制成
For breakfast I have porridge made with water, to which I add raisins.
5.Kellogg's has promised to remove them from its cereals by the end of this year.
by the end of this year 今年年底
By the end of this year I'll have paid off all the money I borrowed from the bank.
And by the end of this year that number will be cut in half.
6.What people accept as a normal color for food can change from place to place and over time.
over time 随着时间逝去
Ideas about the social significance of religion have changed over time.
Ground rents are likely to escalate over time.
今年9月，麦当劳宣布已经从许多汉堡中去除人工色素 。家乐氏也承诺今年年底前将这些人工色素从谷类食品中去除 。
人们认为食物的正常颜色会随着时间和地点的变化而改变 。直到20世纪80年代，美国人还以为开心果是红色的 。开心果大多是从将坚果染色来遮盖斑点的地区进口的 。
纽约墨雷奶酪的伊丽莎白·查巴克（Elizabeth Chubbuck）表示，添加颜色的历史可以追溯到英国奶酪制造商从牛奶中提取乳脂制作黄油的时代 。剩下的牛奶颜色更白 。所以，她说，奶酪制造商添加了一些物质来恢复乳脂的金色 。
萨拉·伯内特（Sara Burnett）是帕尼罗面包店食品政策主管 。她说，马苏里拉奶酪有时会添加二氧化钛而呈现亮白色，二氧化钛是一种自然界常见的物质 。
凯西·斯特兰奇（Cathy Strange）为食品销售商全食公司采购国际奶酪 。她说，之所以要增白是因为大多数美国产的马苏里拉都由普通牛奶制成，而这种牛奶呈黄色 。
她说，在意大利，马苏里拉奶酪有时是用水牛的牛奶制作的 。这种牛奶颜色更白是因为水牛无法消化吸收β-胡萝卜素，而β-胡萝卜素是许多水果和蔬菜所含的一种橙色营养物质 。
许多厨师认为，深色蛋黄更新鲜或健康 。然而，这种颜色可能是添加金盏花花瓣、苜蓿或鸡肉食品中色素的结果 。
伊丽莎白·博贝克（Elizabeth Bobeck）是爱荷华州立大学的教授 。她说蛋黄的颜色主要是由鸡吃的类胡萝卜素引起的 。类胡萝卜素是一种植物天然色素 。她说，只要简单地改变一下鸡的饮食，“很容易就改变蛋黄颜色” 。
博贝克补充说，深色蛋黄不一定更健康 。这一观点可能来自这样一种说法：用新鲜植物喂养鸡，蛋黄颜色会变暗 。
对于购买三文鱼的人来说，亮粉色就意味着新鲜 。专家指出，这就是为什么养殖的三文鱼可能被喂食含人造物质的饲料，以便让鱼肉变粉红 。
美国食品和药物管理局指出，如果三文鱼使用非天然颜色，制造商必须在标签处加以说明 。例如，好市多（Costco）批发商店养殖的三文鱼都贴上“通过饲料添加颜色”的标注 。