Colours are used to enhance the visual properties of foods. Their use is particularly controversial partly because colours are perceived by some as a means of deceiving the consumer about the nature of the food, but also because some of the most brightly coloured products are those aimed at children.
The use of colour in food has a long and noble tradition in the UK. Medevial looks were particular fond of it as the brilliant yellow of saffron (from which saffron is walden derives its name) and the reddish blue of sanders (powered sandal wood) were used along the green spinach and parsly juice to colour soaps in stripes or to give marbleized effects (Mc Kendry; 1973). While adding artificial colours to food may appear to some to be an unnecessary cosmetic, there can be no doubt that the judicious use of colours enhances the attractiveness of many foods. Colours is important in perception pf food and often denotes a special favour. Thus, strawberry flavour is expected to be red and orange flavour colour red. Consumer expectation is therefore a legitimate reason for adding colour (Jeanie; 2004).
Artificial food colourings, in particular have long been the scape goat in the popular press for behaviours problems in children. It has been over 30 years since feifold suggested that artificial food colours and preservatives had a detrimental effects on the behaviour of children (Feingold:1975). Researchers into the effects of foods on children’s behaviour has further increased the negative perception of additives to products particularly aimed at this age group (Dean; 2002). A recent research significant changes were found in the hyperactivity behaviour of children by removing colourants and preservatives from the diet. There was no gender difference in the result obtained and the reduction of hyperactivity was independent of whether the child was initially extremely hyperactive, or not at all. (Mccann et al: 2007)