Color Additives in Food

Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (Chapter VII, Section 721), color additives are subject to FDA approval before they may be used in food. In the approval process, the agency evaluates scientific data to ensure that a color additive is safe for its intended purposes. Any food that contains an unapproved color additive would be considered adulterated under U.S. law and would be subject to enforcement action to remove it from commerce.

The following resources are related to the use of color additives in FDA-regulated food products.


Guidance for Industry


Contact FDA

Office of Food Additive Safety

Additional Contact Information

Food and Color Additive Petitions


5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740

Page Last Updated: 09/26/2018
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