The Red 40 also known as Allura Red AC is an artificial food coloring that may be full of toxic chemicals yet it is vegan-friendly. It has often been confused as non-vegan since most people imagine that it is made from crushed carcasses of South American insects known as cochineal.
However, Red 40 is actually processed from coal tar or petroleum. The only contention vegans have about it is that it is tested for safe human consumption on animals like rats and mice which may not actually be fair if in any case, the tests turn out negative.
Vegan may, however, consider avoiding Red 40 on the grounds of health. Although sometimes and quite honestly it may be a bit difficult to completely avoid it since this coloring agent is contained in many colored processed foods, mostly candies and drinks. It is also considered an effective enticement for children.
Parents should, therefore, take precaution to prevent children from consuming too much of this ingredient in products as it is known to cause problems like ADHD irritability and other behavioral problems in children.
Here is a great video on dangers of Red 40:
Many natural and healthy alternatives can be used for food coloring to replace Red 40. Some of the commonly available include raspberry, cherry, and pomegranate juice which provide equally good red coloring.
Do you use any food colorings when preparing your food?