Washington — In response to a petition filed by Mars, Inc. the FDA has approved spirulina as a source of blue food coloring, the first natural alternative to Brilliant Blue FCF.
The substance can be used beginning September 13 and the FDA has established the official name as “spirulina extract,” which could also enhance natural green food coloring.
“To support the safety of the petitioned use of the subject color additive in candy and chewing gum, [Mars] provided a number of published studies that investigated the toxicity of various spirulina powder extracts. The results of these studies showed no toxic effects at the doses that were tested,” the FDA’s final rule states.
Mars, Inc. reports: “Approval of this petition is one step toward providing Mars and other food manufacturers the option to produce confectionery and chewing gum products made with this naturally sourced color. Spirulina is consumed every day in many countries around the world, both as a food ingredient and a colorant. There has previously been no suitable naturally sourced color that can be used to make green and blue confectionery that meets our consumers’ expectations.”