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Cochineal, Carmine and Red Coloring


Dismal

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I'm looking for techniques for the use of Carmine and Cochineal coloring in spirits.  I find a lot of discussion about the fact that cochineal is used and I find carmine products for beverage industry in general but nothing on HOW to use it to color alcoholic beverages.  My application is Amari.  What form of Carmine is appropriate?  How is it introduced in the process?  Added to the maceration?  Distillate?  Syrup?  Dilution water?  

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Typically used is powdered E120 (FD&C Carmine Lake Powder, sometimes, but not always called Natural Red #4), added to the final product per manufacturer direction and your local regulatory limits.  This is a processed natural color that must meet certain requirements to be used.  You would buy this from a flavoring/coloring house as a ready to use food dye.  There are strict labeling requirements associated with E120.  Purchase this from a reputable coloring house that can supply you with all the necessary documentation, data sheets, and not something like eBay or Alibaba.

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  • 1 month later...

Do we know if ultraviolet light affects this red dye?   Made a batch, used red food coloring, and it looked great.   Event was outdoors, and by the end of the second day, the color was gone, or almost gone....the very faintest of pink color remained in the flavored vodka

 

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All food colors, natural and synthetic, will fade in light.  Yes, there are some differences in stability based on the color source, especially for natural colors.

Carmine is considered stable compared to most other natural reds.

There are 4 factors that can impact color stability:

pH, Light, Heat, and Oxygen.

Did you use carmine or another red?

What's curious is we are generally talking about fading over weeks, not two days.  Which makes me think there may have been a few factors in play, not just the light.

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5 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

What coloring did you use?  And what’s the pH of the spirit?

was a typical store bought food coloring.   I didn't test the pH of the vodka....I could if you thought it mattered.   Like I said, this was just an experimental batch, not sold anywhere.   I still have a bottle or 6 and they're still all pink.

 

Also, if you have a recommended supplier of Carmine (or TTB approved food colorings), I'd happily take it and give it a shot.   I need to find something the TTB would allow, as I think I'm going to make this product for distribution and sale.

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  • 1 month later...

We have a decently extensive experience with carmine, ours comes in liquid form and we just add it to the tote of liquid after dilution to your needed ABV, its very concentrated so it doesnt require much to get a rich colour so you wont have to worry about you alcohol content changing. However we are located in Canada so we havent really tried to get a dried carmine product. There is a regulation in our country because carmine has had reports of causing severe allergic reactions in higher doses, might be worth looking into what your regulations with the FDA would regarding it. 

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