blog image

Here in the US, federal regulations govern which color additives can be used in products that we ingest or that come into contact with our skin. These color additives, known commonly as FD&C (Food, Drug & Cosmetics) dyes are either subject to batch certification or approved for use without certification. Generally, additives that do not require certification are natural substances, which are derived from sources such as fruits, vegetables and minerals and can be costly to implement at large scales. More commonly used are synthetic dyes, which are manufactured according to strict standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and require batch certifications.

The synthetic dyes that are approved for use in the US fall into two categories, FD&C and D&C. FD&C dyes are approved for food, drug and cosmetic use, while D&C dyes are approved for drug and cosmetic use only. The FDA further regulates which D&C certified dyes can be used for external application and which are approved for use on drugs which are ingested. All FD&C and D&C dyes are certified considering many factors including the composition and properties of the substance, the amount that would typically be consumed, and the immediate and long-term health effects.

All FD&C dyes are available in both granular and powder form, which can be used for different applications and manufacturing methods. FD&C and D&C dyes can also be formulated as “Lakes” which the FDA defines as “the aluminum salts of FD&C water-soluble dyes extended on a substratum of alumina.” This version of FDA approved dyes can be useful for certain applications which require water insolubility.

You can find a list of FDA approved and certified dyes and lakes on our “FD&C Dyes and Lakes” products page. These dyes can be custom blended and formulated to produce any color that you require. Get in touch with our team for further information and to request samples for your next project.