Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Artificial Coloring for Red Cerignola Olives? WTF!!

Artificial colors in food serve no functional purpose but aesthetic and are usually found in junk foods such as Gatorade, Pop-Tarts, Froot Loops and Yoplait Trix Yogurt, which, the more I think about it, are nothing more than extremely profitable adult arts and crafts projects.

These petroleum-based synthetic dyes—scientifically proven to cause Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anecdotally linked to allergic reactions—are also employed in seemingly healthier packaged foods like Dannon’s Light & Fit yogurts and Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal bars.

But I was absolutely shocked yesterday when I found out that red Cerignola olives, a bright addition to olive mixes, are colored with FD&C Red 3. I contemplate the ingredients and origins of almost everything I eat, yet I never, ever thought about these olives’ bright red glow.

A little research, though, helped make everything clear. Olives start out green and most mature to somewhere in the purple-black spectrum. A few remain green when ripe, while others turn brown. Some olives, during the maturation process, may be red for a day or two.

Click here to watch a quick video that explains olives’ (natural) coloring process.


Mole Woman said...

You stated that “These petroleum-based synthetic dyes—scientifically proven to cause Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and linked to other modern diseases”
Please cite your source.

Chef Rob said...

Mole Woman,

The scientific study is The McCann Study, University of Southampton (England), 2007. Read it in full at

I also edited that sentence slightly to avoid confusion between that scientific evidence and other anecdotal evidence.

Letticia Morgan said...

I live in the middle East where there are more verities of Olives then I have ever question is I recently was given a sample to try of a red olive, but the name I don't know when I said that I thought it was dyed they assured me that this was a rare type of Olive and that the trees are few and only produce small quantities per season and one they are finished that is it...they said the Olives come this color and I noticed they had a light greenish skin layer on the inside(the meat as it where was slightly greenish in tint...are there any other varieties that r red?