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What is a colorant?

Color is one of the most important sensory properties of food, which can bring great visual impact to consumers. The history of its application in food can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Around 1500 BC, local candy manufacturers used natural extracts and wine to improve the color of candy. With the occurrence of the industrial revolution, the food industry has also developed rapidly, and more and more pigments have been developed, forming an important category of additives-food colorants.   Food colorants are a large class of food additives that are mainly designed to color foods, give them bright colors and improve the color of foods. According to the source of colorants, they can be divided into two types: natural colorants and synthetic colorants. Natural pigments are pigments extracted from plants, such as carotenoids extracted from carrots, lycopene extracted from tomatoes, etc., and some are derived from animals or microorganisms, such as cochineal red and monascus red. Synthetic colorants are non-natural pigments produced by artificial synthesis technology, such as carmine, lemon yellow, and brilliant blue.   The specific functions of colorants in food processing and production are as follows:   ① Improve the deterioration of the natural color of food caused by processing, and maintain the attractive color of the food.   ②   Give food color, such as candy, jelly and other foods added food coloring can increase consumers' desire to buy and appetite.   ③ Make the product color uniform and reduce the natural deviation of the color of food or ingredients.   Coloring agents are not terrible. my country has strict review procedures and related specifications for the use of coloring agents. Moreover, our country has higher requirements for synthetic pigments, so as long as they are used reasonably in accordance with relevant regulations, artificial pigments, like natural pigments, will not harm human health.

Edible colorant aluminum lake is a safe food additive

The safety of aluminum lake products can be explained from four aspects.   1. Aluminum oxide (alumina) in aluminum lake is actually a kind of carrier. Aluminum oxide accounts for 15%-17% of aluminum lake, and the highest is no more than 18%. The aluminum content in aluminum oxide is 53%. The amount of colorant aluminum lake is generally 0.01-0.1g/kg, and the aluminum content is 0.0008-0.009g/kg, which is much less than the other four aluminum-containing food additives mentioned above.   2. Aluminum lakes were first used in Europe and the United States, and they are still in use now. The allowable usage is much higher than my country's standards, and the usage in the US is 1-3g/kg. The United States is a country with high requirements for the safety of food additives, but so far, it has not done toxicological experiments on aluminum oxide in aluminum lakes. Because they have always believed that the aluminum oxide in the aluminum lake is very safe.   3. Because aluminum lake is insoluble in water, it is mostly used for oily food. Therefore, it has greater limitations in its use. It can be used for decorating cakes, fancy styles on cold drinks, and also used for chocolate, high-fat candy, etc. Consumers actually consume very little aluminum from aluminum lakes. In addition, if the application of aluminum lakes is eliminated, there is no safer water-insoluble pigment that can be replaced.   4. From a biological point of view, aluminum lake is different from potassium aluminum sulfate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, sodium aluminosilicate, aluminum octenyl succinate, aluminum lake enters the human body, and part of it is decomposed into pigments in the stomach And aluminum oxide, and aluminum oxide may also be partially decomposed into trivalent aluminum, so the actual aluminum precipitation is a small amount. How much of the aluminum in the aluminum lake is absorbed? Because of its high safety for a long time, no one has ever done a biological characteristic test in this area.

The misunderstanding of food coloring

For the use of food coloring, some people may have some misunderstandings.   For example, some people think that natural colors are safer than synthetic colors, but they are not.   Natural pigments and synthetic pigments have certain safety problems in the raw materials, extraction, and processing. Some natural pigments lack toxicological data, so they are safer if they are not natural pigments.   The permitted food colorings, whether natural or synthetic, are safe as long as they are regulated and used legally within the prescribed scope. If overdose, over-range use, or non-food coloring such as Sudan red is added to food, it may cause harm.

Inorganic pigments: foreign companies are optimistic about China!

At present, China is the world's largest producer of iron oxide, lithopone and chromium pigments, and the output of titanium dioxide is second only to the United States.   The prices of energy and raw materials have risen in recent years. At the same time, titanium dioxide in developed countries in the world has entered the mature stage of the product life cycle. It is expected that the average annual growth rate of demand in the next few years will only be 1.4%, and it is unlikely that investment will increase production. This makes multinational companies place their hopes on the future development of titanium dioxide in Asia, especially China, where the production of titanium dioxide has begun to shift to China. Huntsman's large chlorinated titanium dioxide projects in Ningbo, DuPont in Dongying, Shandong, and Australian manufacturers in Yingkou, Liaoning, will all be completed and put into production around 2010. According to the existing domestic and foreign expansion plans and projects under construction, it is estimated that China’s titanium dioxide production capacity will increase by 300,000 tons before 2008, and another 500,000 tons will be added around 2010. By then, China’s titanium dioxide production capacity will reach approximately 1.6 million tons/year, it is expected to surpass the United States to become the world's largest producer of titanium dioxide. The production capacity of chlorination process titanium dioxide will increase significantly, and the product quality will be greatly improved. China is expected to become a veritable world inorganic pigment manufacturing center.   China's iron oxide industry has the same prospects, and famous foreign iron oxide manufacturers are also optimistic about the Chinese market. Bayer of Germany, Lockwood of the United Kingdom, and Elimings have all established wholly-owned or joint ventures in developed coastal cities in China such as Shanghai, Zhejiang Fuyang, Jiangsu Changshu, Taicang, and Guangdong Shenzhen. At present, the coastal areas of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Guangdong have become iron oxide production bases for overseas enterprises. The production capacity of these enterprises has reached 120,000 tons per year, accounting for 15% of the total domestic iron oxide production capacity.   The transfer of foreign inorganic pigment production to China has accelerated China's becoming the world's inorganic pigment production base and sales market, and at the same time has intensified the market competition in China's inorganic pigment industry.   Exports will show strong growth   For a long time, China’s exports of iron oxide, lithopone and chromium pigments have been far higher than their respective imports. Only titanium dioxide has always been more imported than exported. However, from the perspective of the import and export trade methods of titanium dioxide, since some products are imported through trade methods such as imported materials, processed materials and warehousing and re-export goods in bonded areas, they are eventually exported to foreign countries, so it can be said that the import and export trade of titanium dioxide is basically balanced. In 2005, a total of 228,000 tons of titanium dioxide were imported in China, of which about 76,000 tons were imported through trade methods such as processing trade with imported materials and warehousing and transit goods in bonded areas; 155,000 tons of titanium dioxide were exported. In the future, with the continuous growth of China's titanium dioxide production capacity and output, and the further improvement of product quality, the amount of titanium dioxide imported by general trade will gradually decrease, and the proportion of titanium dioxide imported by imported processing trade will increase. , The export volume of titanium dioxide will continue to maintain a strong growth momentum, and China is just around the corner as a net exporter of titanium dioxide in the world. To   The future trade trend of iron oxide is roughly the same as that of titanium dioxide. Since then, the proportion of imported material processing trade imports will remain above 50%, and the export volume will continue to increase.   The strategic significance of titanium ore resources is prominent   With the continuous development of the titanium dioxide industry, future competition will largely depend on the possession of titanium ore resources.   Although China is one of the countries with the richest titanium ore resources in the world, more than 90% of them are symbiotic rock ore. The TiO2 grade is low, the composition is complex, and mining is difficult. At the same time, due to scattered operations, low degree of mechanization and unstable product quality, it caused serious waste of titanium ore resources. At present, the annual production of titanium dioxide in China requires about 1.8 million tons of ilmenite, while the domestic production capacity is only about 1 million tons
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