Yellow Colors in Dog Food
Since we don’t have another ingredient beginning with the letter “X”, we will skip ahead to the letter “Y” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the yellow colorings in dog food, specifically, yellow #5 and yellow #6.
What is Yellow Coloring?
Yellow food coloring is an artificial coloring agent that is used in many pet and human foods to enhance its visual impact. Yellow #5 (Tartrazine), and Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow) are two of the seven dyes approved by the FDA for use in foods.
Common names for Yellow Coloring
Yellow dye is listed as either yellow #5 and yellow no. five, or tartrazine, and yellow #6 and yellow no. 6 or sunset yellow.
Why are Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 in Dog Food?
Yellow #5 and #6 are added to dog food to make the food look more appealing. Which is actually quite silly since dogs do no care what color their food is. The colors are added to make the food look more appealing to the human pet owner.
Is Yellow Coloring Commonly Used in Dog Food?
Yellows #5 and #6 are present in 4% of all dog foods. Yellow #5 is twice as prevalent as yellow #6. Yellow dyes are also common in treats. They are present in over 12% of all treats.
Common Benefits or Risks of Yellow Coloring
There are no benefits to artificial yellow colorings, only risks.
Both Yellow #5 and #6 are linked to various health problems.
Yellow #5, derived from coal tar and can cause sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. Yellow #5 is associated with allergic type reactions as well. It has been banned in several European countries.
Yellow #6 is derived from petroleum. Yellow 6 has been linked to ADHD and some forms of cancer. Yellow 6 is banned in several European countries and is being phased out of the UK.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has published a report on the health risks of artificial colorings in food. In this report, the authors state that:
“The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens … Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply.”
Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level
Yellow #5 and #6, as well as all artificial colorings, provide no benefit and present the potential for serious health problems. They all get the SlimDoggy Sad Face.
Miscellaneous facts about Yellow Coloring
The other FDA approved food colorings that might show up in a pet food’s ingredient list are:
- Blue #1
- Blue #2
- Green #3
- Red #40
- Red #3
Sources and further reading
Editor’s note: to view all of the dog food ingredients we have covered, search on the tag “ingredients” or click here:
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