SPM Chemistry Form 5 Notes – Chemicals for Consumers (Part 10)

by BerryBerryTeacher

in Berry Reference (Notes)

Food dyes or food colourings are substances added to food (include solid food and drinks) to give it a new colour. It must be noted that food dyes can be synthesised or can also be obtained naturally. Tartrazine E102 is an example of artificial dye, while pandan leaves are sources of natural dye. [Tartrazine or US FD&C Yellow No.5 are among the 4 most used food dye as of the year 2007.]

Although food dye is used to enhance the looks of food (as preffered by us, the consumers), especially when their natural colouring are loss in the processing and storaging of the food, it can bring adverse effects on our health. Ill effects from food dye include hyperactivity, allergic reactions and many other side effects. These days, most processed food that you can buy from the supermarket is coloured by food dyes or food colourings. Even home-made jellies are added with artificial colouring. It is also found in some studies that academic performance improved when food with food colouring is banned in school canteens.

As guessed, this post from Berry Berry Easy, Part 10 of the notes on the Form 5 Chapter of Chemicals for Consumers for SPM Chemistry will be on food dyes or food colouring. In this post, Berry Readers will learn about dyes, their functions, examples and potential side effects arising from the consumption of those dyes.

[Tips: It is important to understand that not all dyes are artificial. Natural dyes are less likely to have side effects. In addition to using food dyes for colouring of food, food dyes are also often used by artists for their work of arts and also sometimes used as fabric dye.]

SPM Chemistry Form 5 Notes – Chemicals for Consumers (Part 10)

Grapeseed Oil Nutritional Information

Food Additives
F. Dyes or Colourings


  • add colour vanished during food processing
  • replace colour vanished during food processing
  • make food appear more attractive


Dyes / Colourings Function Examples Side effect
Tartrazine E102 / Sunset yellow E110 (artificial dye) Yellow azo dye Orange drinks, sweet & custard powder Hyperactive in children
Brilliant blue  FCF Blue 1 (artificial dye) Blue triphenyl dye Ice-cream, beverages, jellies & blue raspberries flavoured product. Allergic
Carmosine E122/ Azorubine (artificial dye) Red azo dye Sweet, jellies & confections Carcinogenic & allergic
Anthocyanin (natural dye – red grape, red cabbages, sweet potatoes and tomatoes) Natural red colouring Ice-cream & sweet -
Carotenoids / saffron (natural dye – carrots, sweet potatoes and palm oil) Natural red colouring Cooking oil & confections -
Paprika Natural red colouring Dessert food -
Butterfly pea (clitoria ternatea) A blue food dye Dessert food & confections -
Pandan (pandanus amaryllifolius) A green food dye Noodles & confections -

This marks the end of the post on food dyes in the chapter of Chemicals for Consumers by Berry Berry Easy for Form 5 SPM Chemistry candidates. Remember to check out the remaining posts in this series.

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