andrew schneider investigates

February 11, 2008

Blue candy is back

Filed under: Food additives,Food Safety — Andrew Schneider @ 17:52

An all-natural coloring derived from seaweed has put blue back in one of the United Kingdom’s favorite candies – Smarties. – following their removal two years ago in response to concerns over artificial additives.

Nestle Rowntree stopped producing blue Smarties when it promised to remove all artificial colorings from the confectionery amid concerns that they are linked to hyperactivity and may pose other health risks, says Food Technology.

The blue Smartie was replaced by a white one, while a suitable natural alternative was found to the coloring Brilliant Blue known as E133.

“After three years of searching Nestle Rowntree has found a way to create the much loved blue Smarties without artificial colors or flavors,” said Graham Walker, UK Trade Communications Manager.

After an extended period of development, Nestle now appears to have found the solution in Spirulina, which is produced from two species of cyanobacteria (blue-green lake algae).

Smarties became free from artificial colorings after Nestle Rowntree pledged to rid its entire range of such additives in the summer of 2005.

There have been increasing health concerns regarding artificial food colorings and flavorings.

Public concern grew after a study published last year in the British medical journal The Lancet concluded that cocktails of food colorings commonly used in confectionery and beverages, and sodium benzoate, can aggravate hyperactivity in children.

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