Monascus colorants offer considerable advantages since they can be produced in any quantity on inexpensive substrates. Their range of colors from yellow to red and their stability in neutral media is a real advantage. Sweeny et al. suggested Monascus colorants for processed meats, marine products, jam, ice cream, and tomato ketchup (6). They should be appropriate for alcoholic beverages such as saki and also for koji, soy sauce, and kamboko. There is considerable interest in the Monascus group, with 38 patents issued in the years 1969 to 1985 (3). Currently Monascus colorants are not permitted in the United States.

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