We reported a few months back about a natural source for blue food coloring derived from cabbage that was safer than the synthetic blue food dyes (Blue #1 and Blue #2) currently in use for food and medications. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly approved a different natural blue food dye that is derived from butterfly pea flower extract*. The natural butterfly pea flower dye has now officially been added to the list of approved color additives, making it the first plant-derived natural blue coloring source approved by the federal agency.
Food items that can soon include butterfly pea flower as a food additive/coloring include alcoholic beverages, candy, carbonated coated nuts, chewing gum, soft drinks, dairy drinks, fruit drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, ice creams, sports drinks, teas, and yogurts.
*Butterfly pea flower is native to Asia, where it has been used for centuries to make tea. It naturally colors foods and beverages with a pH above 3.8 a bright denim blue and those with a pH below 3.8 a deep purple.