Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Food Coloring

In order to enhance the aesthetic and sensory appeal of foods, especially confectionery and beverages, food coloring is often used. While artificial food colors are readily available in the market, they can have negative health effects. On the other hand, natural food colors, which are extracted from plants and animals, are considered safer for consumption. However, they also have their own set of advantages and disadvantages:


  • Safe for consumers’ health
  • Easy to use
  • Natural colors contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals


  • Produced in limited quantities
  • Expensive
  • Short shelf life

Food Colorings Made from Natural Vegetables

Red and Pink: Raspberry or beetroot can be used to create deep pink or bright pink colors.

Yellow: Turmeric or saffron stamens can be used to achieve a yellow color.

Orange Yellow: Carrot is a great natural source for orange-yellow color.

Green: Spinach, green tea, or pandan leaves can create green hues.

Purple: Purple cabbage, leaves, or blueberries can be used for purple coloration.

Brown: Cocoa powder, coffee, and cinnamon powder can produce various shades of brown.

Blue: An infusion of purple water (salt) or butterfly pea flowers can result in a blue color.

Black: Bamboo charcoal powder can be used to achieve a black hue.

How to Make Liquid and Powdered Food Coloring

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare natural food coloring using beetroot:


  • 200g beetroot
  • 200g water


  1. Prepare the beetroot by washing, peeling, and cutting it into small pieces.
  2. Blend the beetroot with 200g of water to form a puree.
  3. Strain the beetroot juice through a towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  4. Boil the freshly squeezed juice until it reduces to about 50-60ml.
  5. Let the juice cool to obtain liquid food coloring.
  6. For powdered food coloring, dry the leftover beetroot pulp in an oven or in the sun.

Ways to Preserve Natural Food Coloring

To preserve powdered food coloring, store it in sealed jars or bags to avoid moisture and exposure to air. Use a dry spoon when using the pigment. Liquid food coloring can be stored in ice trays in the freezer for several months. However, it is recommended to use fresh colors whenever possible for optimal results.

By following these guidelines, you can easily create a variety of colors for your food. Good luck!