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When Oranges are Not Orange Enough

Did you know that many oranges are dyed orange? I recently discovered a dye called Citrus Red No. 2 which is used on the skin of oranges in the development stage before they even get a chance to be orange.

For all of Bon Appetit’s short comings I am glad they have organic fruits semi regularly.

I found the dye is used because some oranges, when considered mature, don’t always look orange enough. The dye is outlawed in California, but is primarily used on Florida oranges.

I thought maybe the dye isn’t too bad. Could it be that they use natural ingredients? No, why would they do that, it’s too expensive.

The FDA document “Code of Federal Regulations Title 21,” which addresses Citrus Red No. 2 and its regulation, was shocking. There is a specified limit on the amount of lead and arsenic which can be included in the concoction.

One thing I don’t understand, besides why oranges even need dye, is the ingredients in the dye. Does the inclusion of arsenic or lead in food coloring make it better? How about we don’t add cancer causing and brain damaging things to our food and see how it goes? Wouldn’t it only get cheaper if an ingredient is excluded? I assume it’s included because the role arsenic plays must be important enough that it is cheaper than an alternative ingredient to take its place. I’m sure some of they dye gets absorbed into the fruit itself.

The one positive thing the FDA has done is make the listing of dyes and coloring mandatory on ingredients lists. Unless I am buying a packaged sack of oranges however, I have never seen an ingredients list for fruit.

Hopefully we can continue to have access to organic fruits at Emmanuel. I know now I am going to be reading the labels.

Posted by on April 7, 2013. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.