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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 128-136

Identification and Prevalence of Food Colors in Candies Commonly Consumed by Children in Muscat, Oman

Department of Pharmacology and Biological Sciences, College of Pharmacy, National University of Science and Technology, Muscat, Oman

Correspondence Address:
Majed AbuKhader
College of Pharmacy, National University of Science and Technology, Muscat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_2_21

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Background: A food color, or a color additive, is any dye, pigment, or a chemical substance that imparts colors to food. There have been several concerns about the safety of food colors reported in the literature that require further evaluation. Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the type, synthetic and natural, frequency, and prevalence of food colors in candy confectionary items commonly consumed by children. Methods: A random cross-sectional product survey approach was followed in selected supermarkets and convenience stores in Muscat, Oman. The ingredient label was utilized as a reliable source of information about food colors used in the selected candy confectionery items. Results: A greater variety of natural food colors were used in candy confectionery when compared with the synthetic ones. It seems, however, that synthetic food colors were more frequently used. Brilliant Blue FCF (E133) and Allura Red AC (E129) are synthetic food colors used more frequently in the studied sample. Although a general observation of the collected data highlights some variation in the frequency of food colors used in candy confectionery sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, statistical analysis has revealed an insignificant correlation. Conclusion: Both synthetic and natural food colors were found to be used in the studied sample. There was no correlation between the type of food colors used in candies and the outlets where these items were sold. This research encourages further exploration of consumption patterns among young children and the actual levels of food colors in food items including candy confectionery marketed in Oman.

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