Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Red #3
We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “R”. Today’s ingredient is Red #3.
What is Red #3?
Red #3, and other red colorings like red #40, as well as all other artificial food colorings, are artificially made food coloring chemicals. Red #3 is a color similar to cherry red.
Common names for Red #3
The most common name variation is Red 3 or Red number 3 and Erythrosine.
Why is Red #3 included in dog food?
There is no nutritional reason to include Red #3 in dog food. Red #3 is most often used in lower quality dog food to make it more visually appealing to the human. As silly as that sounds it is true.
Is Red #3 a commonly used ingredient in dog food?
Red #3 is seen in about one half of a percent of dog foods. However, red dyes in general are seen in almost 5 % of dog foods.
Common benefits or risks of Red # 3
There are no benefits of Red #3. It is used to make low quality dog food look more appealing to the human! A dog does not care what color their food is. Even if it does look like cherries!
In 1990, the FDA issues a partial ban on Red #3, citing research that high doses have been found to cause cancer in rats.
Miscellaneous facts about Red #3
Red #3 is used to achieve a “Cherry Red” type of color. That would be interesting if we were talking about a water color painting and not food ;-).
Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level
Without question, Red #3 gets the Slimdoggy frown. Avoid foods with this ingredient if you are financially able to.
Sources and further reading