Lakes are colorants prepared by precipitating a soluble colorant onto an insoluble base or substratum. A variety of bases such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, talc, calcium carbonate, and aluminum benzoate are approved for D&C lakes, but only aluminum, magnesium, and calcium salts are approved in the United States for manufacturing FD&C lakes. The process of manufacture is fairly simple. First, a substratum is prepared by adding sodium carbonate to a solution of aluminum sulfate. Next a certified colorant is added to the slurry, then aluminum sulfate is added to convert the colorant to an aluminum salt, which is absorbed onto the surface of the alumina. The slurry is then washed, dried, and ground to a fine powder. The colored powder can be marketed as is or mixed with a diluent such as hydrogenated vegetable oil, coconut oil, propylene glycol, glycerol, sugar syrup, or other media appropriate for food consumption or for printing food wrappers. Diluents for both pure colorants or lakes have to be either on the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list or on the list approved by the FDA Code of Federal Regulations (1-3).

Lake colorants have many advantages, primarily because they are insoluble in most solvents including water. They have a high opacity, are easily incorporated into dry media, and have superior stability to light and heat. They are effective colorants for candy and pill coatings since they do not require removal of water prior to processing. They are particularly effective for coloring hydrophobic foods such as fats and oils, confectionery products, bakery products, salad dressings, chocolate substitutes, and other products in which the presence of water is undesirable. Lakes made from some water-soluble FD&C colorants may show some bleeding when formulated in foods outside the pH range 3.5 to 9, but few foods are in this pH range. Lakes have been used to color food packaging materials including lacquers, plastic films, and inks from which straight water-soluble colorants would be soon leached.

The Complete Coconut Oil Handbook

The Complete Coconut Oil Handbook

The coconut tree is one of the most versatile plants in existence. Whilst we are all familiar with the coconut as a food source not many of us know the myriad of other benefits the coconut holds.

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