Coloring is often added to foods and other items to make them more visually appealing. The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved two types of yellow dyes for use in food products: Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6. Both of these are used in a range of food products and have come under scrutiny.
Food Products With Yellow Food Dye
The food dye Yellow No. 5 is also called tartrazine and is the second most commonly used food dye in the U.S. It and other yellow food dyes are found in packaged snacks such as chips and crackers -- they are particularly common in cheese-flavored varieties; puddings and sweets; and cereals, waffles and other breakfast products. Yellow dye is also found in soft drinks and juices and in dinner products such as prepared pasta and burger mixes.
Potential Risks of Yellow Dyes in Food
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Yellow No. 5 dye may cause hyperactivity in young children, while Yellow No. 6 is linked to some types of tumors. Additionally, an animal study published in "Food and Chemical Toxicology" in 2010 noted that both Yellow No. 5 and No. 6 food dyes changed the chemical functions of the liver and kidneys. Both of these studies are based on tests on mice or rats; further research on the effect of yellow dye on humans is needed.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Summary of Color Additives for Use in the United States in Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, and Medical Devices
- Food and Chemical Toxicology: Effect of Food Azo Dyes Tartrazine and Carmoisine on Biochemical Parameters Related to Renal, Hepatic Function and Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Young Male Rats
- Health.com: 9 Food Additives That May Affect ADHD
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: Food Dyes -- A Rainbow of Risks