Researchers at Purdue University’s Nutrition Science department in Lafayette, Indiana took a rainbow of common foods and put them under the microscope to determine just how much dye manufacturers put in some of their most popular products. Their findings were published in the Medical Journal Clinical Pediatrics last month. Laura Stevens, lead researcher of the study, says that as expected many bright red and orange foods contain high amounts of dye, however there were a few items that surprised her.
“Finding red dye in cherry pie filling was pretty odd, you’d would think the cherries would make it red enough.” She also found that some brands of pickles have blue and yellow dyes and that even white icing contains artificial color.
Tests have been conducted in the past looking for links between consumption of food dye and behavioral issues in children. Stevens says the tests, conducted in the ‘70s and ‘80s, used a baseline of 27 milligrams of mixed dyes – around half the amount of dye found in an 8 oz. serving of Burst Cherry Kool-Aid.
Stevens says tests were also done to observe the effects of children on higher doses of dye — around 50 to 100 milligrams. “They found conclusive links between consuming these high levels and behavioral problems. However at the time they didn’t think children would ever be able to consume that much dye,” says Stevens.
Just How Much Dye Is in Your Food? - Modern Farmer