Eco test: food colors in sweets

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Eco test: food colors in sweets: questionable colorants in food

Food colors in candy are suspected of having ADHD in childrento be able to trigger. In a current review, the consumer magazine Öko-Test found dyes in almost a quarter of the products tested, which must be warned of.

Can affect children's attention. Children love it colorful. Know that tooManufacturers of sweets and beverages and therefore often add plenty of colorants to their products. Some of these additives are suspected of causing ADHD in children. The substances are not prohibited,however, the EU has been issuing a warning on the packaging since 2010: "May impair children's activity and attention". Five so-called azo colors are affected: tartrazine (E 102), yellow orange S (E 110), azorubin (E 122),Cochineal red (E 124) and allura red (E 129) - as well as the artificial dye quinoline yellow (E 104).

Dyes questionable in almost every fourth product For the current issue, the Öko-Test reviewers looked at 104 colorful products,what dyes their ingredient list has. Above all, the test was candy that was specially designed for children. 24 products, almost a quarter, contained dyes that must be warned of. For two test products (Imperial Blackberry Gelatin Dessert,Sera rosehip tea drink) was missing the prescribed warning and on others it is so hidden or small that it is difficult to read.

Another possible health hazard Already since the 1970s, artificial dyes have been discussed as possible triggers of ADHD.So far, scientists have not been able to provide clear evidence for the presumption, but the conclusion was reached that omitting the dyes could reduce ADHD symptoms, at least in particularly sensitive children. The "Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung" also warnsOther aspects of the possible health risk from the additives: "Many azo dyes are broken down in the body by enzymes into their starting compounds, these are considered to be highly carcinogenic and are also suspected of causing allergies and pseudoallergies."

Prohibition required In order to be able to better contain the danger posed by the dyes, further action is required, according to the Federal Consumer Association (Bundesverband vzbv). His website reads: “From the point of view of the consumer advice center, the warning is only a half-hearted solution.The mostly inconspicuous warning in the small print is insufficient because many children buy their sweets themselves. Azo dyes and quinoline yellow should therefore be banned ".

Dyes are whitewashing A ban would affect the tasteor change the quality of a product. However, natural dyes would not get the color intensity completely, especially with blue, this probably does not work. The testers therefore found controversial blue dyes in almost all products. The magazine also pointed outthat something is constantly changing in the assessment of dyes, which makes adding them particularly risky. Good foods would not need such substances at all, dyes are pure whitening. (ad)

Image: M. Großmann /

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