Natural colours originate from a wide range of sources like vegetables, fruits, plants, minerals, seeds, insects, algae, and other edible natural sources capable of colouring food, drugs or cosmetics. They impart colour when added to food or drink. The name ‘natural food colours’ stands correct as all these natural food colours are obtained using only naturally available products.
Natural colours are obtained by physical and/or chemical extraction resulting in a selective extraction of the pigments relative to the nutritive or aromatic constituents from foods and other edible natural source materials. Natural colours come in many forms consisting of liquids, powders, gels, and pastes.
Another very important characteristic of the natural food colours is that they are safe to use as food additives. Since they are natural derivatives, they are free of any harmful side effects. Natural food colours are popularly food additives that can be found in everyday consumption products.