Is Red Food Coloring Vegan?

Answer: almost always, yes

Red food coloring used in food products is currently almost always vegan. Years ago, red food coloring was created with carmine (check our carmine post, not vegan), carminic acid or cochineal. Today, most food grade products with red dye use Red #40, which is derived from coal (gross, but vegan). So double check those red food coloring jars, but chances are, vegan.

4 comments for “Is Red Food Coloring Vegan?

  1. darsh
    January 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    RED color was bothering me from a long time…any idea whether red color used in food processing in INDIA use carmine???

  2. March 10, 2014 at 2:25 am

    I recently became vegan and stopped eating all artificial food dye because it is often tested on animals. Toxicity tests are performed and animals are intentionally killed. I don’t think vegans should eat food dye. Also, Red 40 is made from petroleum, which is a fossil fuel and forms from the remains of dead animals. So Red 40 is not vegan.

    • Deborah Fowler
      November 28, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      I find that interesting that colorings are tested on animals but not surprised…I am vegan almost 5 years now. Thank you for adding that; I first knew about the food colorings were made from petroleums and can cause ADD and behavior problems, hyperactivity and those maladies since 1976 when my grandmother and sister turned me on to the Feingold diet newsletter and I helped dozens of children get off the ridilin just in the late 70’s.

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