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Food comes in various shapes, sizes, flavors, taste, aroma, appearance, odor, hardness, crispiness and colors. Often reminds us of the microscopic bacteria of a few micrometers in size. While on the other hand we have red wood trees of California of more than 100 meters. Life also ranges from colorless or even transparent worms to brightly colored birds and flowers. Food is no different, according to Emerald Insights, 90% of buyers make a decision after seeing the color and their perceived taste of the product, suggesting color brings flavor to life.

The human eye is very sensitive, so we get the first clearance of the bite with the color and appearance. The eyes can deceive even the expert tongue. There are plentiful natural colors available with edible plant and animal foods. The artificial colors have exceeded the natural tally. The colors used are permitted colors and colors exempted from certification that are derived from natural sources. It is good to eat a plate with different colors of foods to stay healthy as each color provides its own nutritional, repair and remedial benefit to the body. Food nutritionists have suggested that the color of the food has a prospective intake bonus. Apart from these, there is some interesting food color like the squid ink etc.

Food companies scan their products on the line with custom colorimeters to ensure mathematically consistent hues. Fruits and vegetables are shipped in chemically “modified” atmospheres; because “better stem and fruit color gives better prices,” according to the website of a food delivery company TransFresh. There are valid reasons for the use of permitted food colors primarily acceptance of product. Secondly, it could be natural color loss, exposure to light etc. The imbalance between the Omni presence of umpteen colors and eating healthy food may lead to a dysfunctional study of perceptions. The lemonade served red and tomato ketchup being green.

It is therefore important for us, the end-users to design to assist the culinary management of color. To believe our senses or believe the labeling instructions or believe the truth or myth behind each damage prediction on consumption or simply vote for peace and stay hungry. Can we guarantee the use of permitted food colors and stop the use of inedible/non-permitted food colors into the food we are served. Don't just blame any stakeholder.

When it comes to looking for choices on the plate, we try to engage in checking the colors flaunting the buffet array. The wrong colored foods are something we accept, not craving but as an option. Not the legislation this time, we the food handlers who at some time are compromising the straight talk on this subject, have to harness adversity in the interest of the health of people. When indulging into cooking, we should develop an acceptance for the fair product which may not meet the desired color standards. This is simple science that

  • The correct method of cooking for appropriate food material gives desirable color results.
  • The precautions for certain pre-preparations and preparations take care of this situation.
  • The ingredients in their natural form could enhance color.
  • The rainbow is splendid and grandeur is the food rainbow.

    Be colorfully healthy.

    By Salla Vijay Kumar, Lecturer & Chef - Institute of Hotel Management, Ahmedabad

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