“The result is a plant-based brilliant red that gives our customers a natural alternative to carmine and synthetic colors,” he continued. Below are just a few recently released products that contain the insect-based food coloring known as “carmine.” There are thousands of others already on the market. Jr. Gallos Mz E Lote 12, Urbanización Praderas de Lurín - Lima, Calle Manel Farres, 15 - D Sant Cugat Del Valles - Barcelona, España, Cumbres De Maltrata 452 - 502, Col. Narvate Oriente - Ciudad de México. “There’s something very concerning about the fact that we think nothing of crushing insects by the billions every year,” comments Gentle World. According to Peruvian natural colors company Imbarex, “carmine is used to enhance the natural red color of meat, sausages, and lunch meats elaborated with poultry meat and also meat-flavored condiments commonly used in the daily kitchen.”. According to Gentle World, the soft-bodied flat beetles are placed into bags once they are brushed from the cacti, these bags are then whisked off to the carmine production plant. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Nowadays, carmine is still big business. Potatoes Can Replace Red Carmine Food Coloring Made From Bugs, Vegan Stock Alert: Eat Beyond Announces IPO, Beyond Burgers to Launch in 7,000 CVS Stores, You Can Search for Vegan Businesses In New Toyota and Lexus Cars, Another Successful Vegan Food Company IPO. The museum explains, “[cochineal] was so highly prized that bags of the dried bugs were used as currency or as tribute.”, “The Spaniards took cochineal back to Spain, and during colonial times, cochineal was Mexico’s second-most valuable export after silver,” it notes. Basically, anything that may have a vibrant red color, you need to watch out for if you’re looking to avoid carmine. According to Afterglow cosmetics — a vegan-friendly makeup brand which does not use carmine — the ingredient is used “to add color vibrancy, long-wear, and shade intensity.” It notes, “it is also the ‘go-to’ natural dye when cosmetic chemists want to achieve specific cooler ranges of pinks, purples, and reds while avoiding the use of synthetic red, purple, and pink FD&C and Lake dyes.”. For more information about these and other colorants please contact us at the following link. Dalmose Rasmussen also maintains that the taste of other carmine alternatives is noticeably different. According to them, they are eating insects. Other synthetic alternatives to carmine do exist, but various drawbacks include an unpleasant aftertaste and restriction to foods with a short shelf life. “Cochineal was much superior to the red dye used in Europe at that time, and became hugely popular. “If a product is vegan it should be 100% carmine-free.”. Hansen — to Food Navigator. But until now it has been nearly impossible to make a fire-engine red color with no risk of off-taste without using carmine,” he said. This article was written by a LIVEKINDLY contributor. “Beet is a pinkish red pigment with a very low cost-in-use,” said Penille Borre Askorg, the senior manager of global marketing at Chr. They are predominantly farmed in Peru, according to the BBC, and have become a key staple ingredient for many companies in the food industry. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. “We took this plant and embarked on a process of selective breeding using traditional, non-GMO methods.”. The result is a highly-pigmented vegetable which provides the same vibrant red level of color as carmine. In pretty much EVERYTHING. The brand focuses on using natural Iron Oxide in its products to achieve red, pink, and purple shades, however, it does note that avoiding carmine is “an ongoing challenge” for the brand. In 2017, Peruvian farmers exported nearly 650 tonnes — around $46.4 million — of carmine. [/tw_callout], Nestle Nesquik: Chocolate Cookie Sandwich (Strawberry), Nature’s Way: Alive Women’s 50+ Multivitamin/Multimineral, Laci Le Beau: Super Dieters Fast Dissolve, Healthy America: Triple Strength Natural Cranberry Fruit Concentrate, Naturade: MemorAid with Omega 3 & Vitamin D, Lucerne: Smoothie Dairy Beverage (Strawberry Banana), Werther’s: Original Sugar Free Caramel Cinnamon Flavored Hard Candies, Jamieson Natural Sources: Omega-3 Age Defence. Carmine is present in a number of food products, including red meat. If it’s a red beef burger you fancy, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods both create “bleeding” meaty burgers — which look, cook, and taste like beef — but are made with pea protein. Candy Kittens makes pink vegan-friendly gummy candies, and the Natural Confectionery offers plant-based Jelly Snakes. It was used to dye the cloaks of Roman Catholic cardinals and the ‘redcoats’ used by the British army.”. “Strawberry red is a popular shade for food products — from cakes to confectionery to milkshakes. Vertically integrated companies, such as Chr. UK-based Premier Foods, which owns brands including Mr Kipling cakes and Bachelor soups, continues to use carmine, but does consider switching to alternative colourings. In comparison to other naturally-derived red food colors previously experimented with — for example those from beetroot or purple carrots — the Hansen sweet potato alternative is light and heat-stable, which makes it ideal for use in baking. PETA notes that Kat Von D Beauty, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Face It Natural Beauty and Fairy Girl, among others, offer carmine-free vegan cosmetic products. If you want to avoid crushed beetles as a makeup ingredient altogether, Afterglow recommends checking labels thoroughly and choosing the companies you buy from carefully. Please check back here from time to time for updates to the list as we identify more products containing carmine — food coloring made from crushed whole cochineal beetles. Cochineals are used in the meat industry, dairy products, high-quality cosmetics (lip tints, nail polish), candies, alcoholic drinks, pharmaceuticals, textiles, historical paintings and also in high-end industrial paints (for buildings with luxury design or historical). According to PETA, “you could be smearing the insides of thousands of bugs onto your lips with your favorite red lipstick or onto your cheeks with your favorite blush.”. The company developed the Hansen sweet potato using selective breeding over the last ten years. As a result, the manufacturers are searching for a perfect substitute for cochineal carmine. “[But] we continue to look for alternatives, which in addition to being natural, would also be suitable for vegetarians.”, Animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) added, “it reportedly takes up to 70,000 individual insects to produce just 500g of dye, so naturally, it’s a product that compassionate consumers will want to avoid.”. Please check back here from time to time for updates to the list as we identify more products containing carmine — food coloring made from crushed whole cochineal beetles. The cochineal’s signature bright red color comes from carminic acid, which “makes up almost a quarter of the bugs’ weight, and deters predation by other insects,” the BBC notes. Why? Hansen, use their manufactured carmine color in dairy products as a food additive to enhance the aesthetic appeal of ice creams, yogurt, cheese, and milk alternatives. “The bugs, which are about 5mm or 0.2 inches long, are brushed off the pads of prickly pear cacti. Often labeled as “cochineal extract” or “natural red 4,” carmine can be added to a variety of beauty and self-care products, including shampoo, red lipstick, and blush. Today cochineal is again produced on a commercial scale. Hansen has developed an alternative to the insect-based food coloring carmine using potatoes. The beetles are then either immersed into hot water, exposed to sunlight, steamed or heated. [tw_callout description=”Instead of relying entirely on strawberries, raspberries, cherries, or other healthy wholesome fruit, Dannon sometimes uses an extract made from the pulverized, dead bodies of cochineal insects to give its yogurts fruity red colors.” btn_text=”Take Action” btn_color=”#afc464″ btn_url=”http://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/berries-over-bugs-tell-dannon-get-insects-out-yogurt” btn_target=”_blank”]Berries Over Bugs! According to Nathalie Pauleau, a category manager at plant-based ingredient company Naturex, it is the most frequently used food coloring in red meat products. Black carrot is also a more cost-efficient pinkish-red solution, but if there is a need for a bright red stable solution, then black carrot might be too pinkish or dull at higher pH.”. The ingredient, however, is neither as long-lasting nor as easy to use as carmine. It is the wingless females that are harvested, rather than the flying males.”, According to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, carmine use goes back thousands of years, with both the Incas and Aztecs using beetles as a dye. Although many companies are reluctant to move away from carmine, there are some brands — such as UK convenience store chain Premier Foods —  willing to look for alternatives. Then, where is cochineals’ carmine used? Even brands that promote themselves as eco-friendly and natural can still use carmine in their products. “But it is not heat and light stable and it is more pinkish. In short, regarding food products, it can be found in ingredients as E-120 in strawberry and red fruits yogurts, in most sausages, in all kinds of sweets and red candies as Mentos or gummies, in red drinks, strawberry or raspberry jams, in sweet syrups, among many others.

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