Jump to content

coloring spirits with non certified color

Recommended Posts

I got a formula back where we are coloring our spirit with all "natual herbs" and because they were not one of the certified or non certified color approved list from the FDA they are wanting me to put on the label


well of course I do not want to put on my label that statement. How would I get around that, the agent I was dealing with from formula said I might get around it by listing all the ingredents (six different I used in this) so I don't necessarily want to have a chapter of ingredents on my label. any suggestions on how to work thru this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My response does not answer your question directly on how to deal with the TTB's loopholes. Instead, I'm more curious in your thoughts on how important secrecy is to the success of your product? Would listing your ingredients to avoid the stupid "Artificially Colored" requirement make your product less appealing to your consumers than the words "Artificially Colored"?

There have been many times where we've been forced to spin what seems like a setback into a blessing. Sounds like if your ingredients aren't listed with the TTB, then they might be unique and could become a secondary niche for your product? Gotta pick your battles wisely. Arguing with the TTB could consume a ton of time and $.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's quite easy, and it shows how downright silly some of these regulations are.

I suspect you're coloring absinthe?

Ask them if you can amend your formula, and simply change the wording, without changing the formula.

As an example, when you list your ingredients, and not your procedures, you could write:

500 grams hyssop (adds a spicy flavor)

500 grams petit wormwood (adds a honey note)

etc....... Sound ridiculous, but if you plant it the mind of the TTB officer that it's simply adding flavor, you're in the clear. It's the truth, too, as anyone

who has ever made absinthe will tell you. The green color that comes out of the plant material is incidental to the aromas and flavors that are imparted by the herbs. If you wrote that the herbs were "for coloring", that's what set off the alarm.

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever applying for formulas for spirits, it's important to:

(1) use form 5110.38

(2) follow the instructions for Item 5 (instructions are on the back of the form).

(3) supply only the information requested on the form...don't read more into the instructions than what the instructions say, and don't provide more information than what is required.

(4) don't offer more information than what the instructions ask for.

(5) and finally, don't give more information than you have to.

What does all of this mean?

First, it means you should only give the information that the form requires.

Second, the form does not ask for quantities, so don't provide them. If you provide them, then your formula is less flexible next year when the crop comes-in with tons more (or less) flavor than the original batch, and you ARE REQUIRED to make the product ACCORDING TO THE FORMULA...so don't make the formula more complicated than it needs to be.

And finally, it means you should not provide information that's not requested.

So, don't answer questions that are not asked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...