Free Press Journal

Scared of Artificial Colours and Flavours in Cakes – 3 Things to Know

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Who doesn’t love to indulge time and again in a delicious piece of cake? Be it chocolate truffle cake that melts in the mouth, or light yet creamy fresh fruit cake, every bite of these irresistible treats leave you wanting for more, doesn’t it? With talented bakers, chefs and cake artists relentlessly working on inventing new flavours, today we have hundreds of unique flavours available in the market. Add to that the use of gum paste and fondant to create beautiful and colourful cakes that one can only imaging.

The hunt for these colourful cakes with distinctive flavors has become even more easier with online marketplaces and ecommerce websites like Bakeway, that helps simplify the search for cakes and bakeries catering such unique cakes.

But the thought of consuming these artificial flavours and colouring agent scares most of us. Particularly, feeding your kids any colourful sweet treats, rainbow or unicorn cakes that they love so much, you stop to think twice before going ahead. And rightly so, especially when it comes to artificial colouring. According to scientific research these unnatural colours are linked hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and tumour growth.


In fact, as a precaution, European lawmakers now require food manufacturers to label all food with artificial colours with a warning stating “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”. Scared? Don’t be. To help you enjoy your favourite sweet treats without the harmful side effects we have compiled a list of things to know before buying colourful cakes.

  1. Go for natural dyes:

Natural dyes have been around since centuries. Made using natural food like beetroot, carrots, saffron, turmeric, spinach, red cabbage one can produce natural dyes that are non-toxic and equally beautiful. You can enjoy your rainbow cake without the fear of the exposing yourself and your kids to the chemicals of artificial colouring.

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  1. Prefer natural or fresh fruit cakes over colourful cakes:

Another fail safe way to avoid artificial colours used in cakes is by opting for cake made from fresh and naturally available ingredients like fresh fruit cakes, cakes made from colourful or seasonal fruits like blueberries, mangoes, kiwis, strawberries, or chocolate cakes, coffee cakes and such other naturally available ingredients.

  1. Don’t be scared of artificial flavors:

Most common misconception with people are that artificial flavours uses chemical compounds that can have adverse effects to the health. However, it is seen that the chemical compounds present in both artificial flavours and well as natural flavours are exactly the same, only the source is different. Take example of Vanilla – This popular and widely used flavour for baking cakes and desserts has over 200 compounds. Besides the notable vanillin, other compounds include hydroxybenzaldehyde and hydroxybenzoic acid. Looking at these compounds one would be scared right? But these are naturally found and have no harmful effects.

The thought of consuming chemicals that are laboratory produced and don’t come from natural sources is unnerving. While we do suggest avoiding artificial colours for health reasons. However, there’s no evidence that the artificial flavouring itself is harmful to your health. Just keep the above in mind before indulging in buying a cake or sweet treat to avoids any harmful effects.