Plant based (non-synthetic) dyes are made from...plants! It is the way they are grown and processed, and what ingredients are added to them that makes one companies products different from those sold by a different company.
Each ingredient (vegetable, spice, plant) has particular characteristics including solubility, stability, taste, etc. Colors made from plants can get moldy with time and contamination.
Colors from earthy vegetables like beets and cabbage will mold more easily than colors made from spices and other plant parts like paprika and turmeric.
Plant based colors are formulated to be used in either products that have some water in them (like icings and modeling chocolate) or products that have no water at all in them (like cocoa butter and chocolate).
All natural colors will be affected by the acid or base chemistry of the products you add them to. To keep the color as intended it is best to add to the most neutral ingredient possible.
Vegetable color may darken, fade and brown when heated. When baking with natural color try smaller or thinner shapes so they need less time and heat.
Natural colors will fade over time, especially yellow, so it is best to store the colors and products made with them in a dark container or area.
VEGETABLE COLOR CHOICES: Which is for me?
POWDER and LIQUID colors are made from the same ingredients but different bases, storage and use qualities.
POWDERS sometimes have a little tapioca or other starch as a base. They are simple to store and rarely spoil, but usually need to be reconstituted before using. Most are quite intense and can be used in many ways.
LIQUIDS are easy and ready to use. Just add a few drops to your product. They must be refrigerated or frozen to maintain freshness and most should be used within six months, sooner is better.
OIL DISPERSIBLE POWDERS do not really dissolve but are made to be extremely fine and give the appearance of even color.
POWDERED COLOR FOR ICING AND CREAMS
• Have the longest shelf life, are reasonably priced and come in simple packaging.
• Easily stored in tightly closed container in a dark, cool area like a cabinet or pantry.
• May be added to oil based products but will not fully dissolve, causing speckling.
Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined from the earth, ground into a very fine powder that is white in color and used to enhance the color and sheen of certain foods, cosmetics, sunscreen and toothpaste for a very long time.
Add this fine powder to lighten any product, or as a white paint.
Available in 1/4, 1/2 or 1 oz
OIL DISPERSIBLE COLOR
More expensive per ounce and also have good intensity
Can be powders or liquids
Most of our oil dispersible colors are in powder form because we like the simplicity of minimal base and long storage. Paprika oil
(1/4 oz,1/2 oz,1 oz or set of 4 colors/.15 oz ea)
Very fine "clean" vegetable powders with little to no flavor. Primarily used in chocolate and do not mix or disperse into water or products that have no water at all in them.
Just like the yellow liquid color but much stronger. The glycerine base blends with oil but will also work with most products that have water in them.
Paprika oleoresin is an oil-soluble extract from the fruits of Capsicum annuum or Capsicum frutescens, used as a colouring in food products.
LIQUID COLOR FOR ICING AND CREAMS
Are easy and ready to use. Just add a few drops to your product.
Must be refrigerated or frozen to maintain freshness and should be used within six months.
Will not blend with products without any water based ingredients at all. If there is both water and oil or shortening in a product it can be colored with either water based or oil based color.
(water dispersible - 1/2 oz or 2 oz)