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Red dye allergy may seem like a phenomenon because such a simple solution could cause allergic reactions. However, be aware that many snacks and foods for children contain some sort of food dyes that may give negative reactions to some children.
Many parents report that their children have been eating various foods that contain the food dyes that their children develop eczema or indigestion. While some children are only with a specific type of food dye, causing red dye allergy, others react to all kinds of food dyes that can cause anaphylactic reactions, which could be potentially severe.
Different candies including skittles, gummy bears, ice creams, lollipops and artificial cheeses, processed breads and crackers contain food dyes that could cause rashes, swelling, difficulty of breathing and also trigger asthma.
Since it can be an overwhelming task to determine which food coloring could cause these allergies, the only way parents could prevent red dye allergy and other variations of food dye allergies is by reading nutritional labels of every item you buy. These labels are required to list down all products included in the snack, candy or other food products.
The Truth About Red Dye Allergy
Red dye allergy occurs when a child or adult is affected by red food coloring #2, which is also known as cochineal extract or carmine. This type of dye is processed using dried insects, particularly the cochineal bug found in the Canary Islands and South America. According to several studies, the red dye #2 is one of the most common food colorings that causes red dye allergy on children.
Another red dye is known as the FD&C red dye #40, which is used for three purposes – food, drugs and cosmetics, hence the name “FD&C”. According to a survey performed by the National Academy of Sciences, the red dye #40 is the most widespread dye used by all ages.
The FD&C red dye is a member of the Azo family of colorants. Almost one million of these dyes are produced each year for various products starting from the first year it was discovered. Accounting to more than half of all the commercial dyes found in cosmetics, drugs and food, the red dye #40 produces different colors once processed.
Although the FD&C red dyes are one of the nine colors approved by the FDA, most of these dyes cause red dye allergy in hypersensitive people. Today, the Allura red from the Azo family is banned from Japan, Sweden, Austria and Norway.
While there are other food dyes that have been noted to cause allergic reactions, the increase of people with red dye allergy and the continuous production of these allergens remain a serious concern among consumers worldwide.