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NSF approved

detectable removable equipment




Food naturally blue is rare in nature. For an organic molecule to be blue, strict conditions must be met as they depend on pigment concentration, as well as pH. For food to be blue it must be alkaline. This does not exist in the animal kingdom and is very rare in the plant kingdom. Blue is categorized as inedible, as it is not present in nature, so it is chemical. It is then said that this food is incongruous, because it is not consistent with the representations that we make, and it creates cognitive dissonances namely psychological discomfort and negative emotions.

Evolution could explain the phenomenon, blue food is not attractive to humans. Studies conducted by Chris Gunter show that this colour cuts the appetite.

The MINTEL study, which involved the collaboration of 60 expert analysts from more than 12 countries, produced an international GNPD database of new products launched on the market. This study reflects key consumer themes. It identified that all new blue foods have a low life expectancy.

This is confirmed by various known examples.

The Blue Ketchup launched by Heinz in 2003 was withdrawn from supermarkets in 2006.

The blue PEPSI launched in 2002, then withdrawn because it contained a colorant that is now banned.

It is too early to measure the success of blue wines, but the debate over natural winemaking process is already making the front page. Especially since making blue wines is not a new idea. It dates from 1930 and was born in Turin. We can only see that their future has not been a success.

Finally, it is worth remembering that experiments have been conducted with tomatoes!

cubic tomatoes and blue tomatoes

Cubic tomatoes were less of a concern than blue tomatoes. Consumers perceived blue tomatoes as transgenic.



The use of dyes in food is subject to European regulations 94/36/EC of June 30, 1994 under the authority of the European food safety authority EFSA. For the United States, the FDA is the competency, for the United Nations, it is based on the Codex Alimentarius.

The list is in appendix 1 of Directive 62/2645/EEC 1962 and is subject to the EU Regulation 231/2012 of the Commission of March 09, 2012.

An agri-food company with international aspirations or that wants to export will have to comply with its own requirements, which are not the same as in the country of origin.


E 130   Manascorubin or idanthrone blue pigment from the anthacene has been PROHIBITED SINCE 1977 for all countries.


E 131 Patented Blue V from petrochemicals not listed in Codex Alimentarius, authorized in the EEC, prohibited in the United States. 1987 IARC Study International Centre for Cancer Research: potentially carcinogenic on Rats. Contains in small proportions heavy metals Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium. The ADD allowable daily dose is set at 5 mg/kg of body mass.


E 132 Indigo carmine synthesized by sulfonation of an indigo extract. Contains in small amounts heavy metals, Arsenic, Lead. 

Classification CLP H 317, it can cause skin allergy. Studies have shown toxic potential and can lead to respiratory problems and gastrointestinal symptoms. Facilitates abnormal cell developments, including tumours in rats. Despite this data, it remains allowed in France. The ADD was still reduced in 1984 and 2010, and to date is 5 mg/ Was prohibited in Norway and reintroduced by the EEC


E 133 Brilliant Blue FCF Artificial colouring derived from coal tar. May contain aluminium and is then potentially neurotoxic. Is suspected of worsening diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. It is also suspected of promoting allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and is strongly discouraged among children by consumer associations. A 2015 study found cytotoxic and genotoxic effects on human lymphocytes. Classified CLP. Suspected carcinogen effect, but insufficient evidence, Danger of cumulative effects. Possibly known to be carcinogenic by ARTAC.  Side effects for subjects sensitive to aspirin. Is forbidden in BIO. Contains heavy metals in small amounts Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, Nickel. ADD 6 mg/


In medical settings, blue dyes find their main application in the detection of sentinel nodes in oncology surgery. Anaphylactic reactions suspected of being mediated by IgE antibodies are a significant complication of these dyes. These substances are involved in perioperative allergic reactions. (blue dyes anaphylaxis)


There are exceptions, however. The blue Curaçao in syrup or spirits, native to the Caribbean is blue, E 132 for some countries, E 133 for others.

The Clitoria Ternatea flower of the Fabaceae family contains anthocyanins from the flavonoid biochemical family. It changes colour in the presence of acid pH. It is known for its many therapeutic virtues. In addition, peptides called cliotides have been isolated, their potential effects as anti-microbial and anti-cancer agents are currently being studied.

Clitoria Ternatea is widely consumed worldwide but is not approved in the food environment.


Behavioural analyses + rarity of blue-coloured foods

It is for these many reasons that any foreign body that can contaminate food must be by convention, and for differentiation reasons, blue. The BCR 8 also recommends this colour. There are many blue objects, markers, pens, bandages, hairnets, breathing masks, seals, clamps, knives, brushes including their hair.


iBiotec supplies all of its NSF approved products with blue and detectable

DETECT BLUE® equipment.