Americolor food coloring

Americolor food coloring

Gel Paste Dye


  • What it’s made out of: Synthetic coloring with a water, glycerine and/or corn syrup base.
  • How it’s sold: Little pots or jars.
  • How to use it: Gel paste dye is an even more concentrated form of liquid gel dye. It’s best to dip a toothpick in the paste and add very small amounts each time, as it is extremely effective in coloring.
  • Pros: You only need a small amount, so it can be slightly less messy than using dropper bottles. It is usually available at cooking stores or online. Gel paste dye is very effective in dyeing a large amount of batter (like cake batters) and produces dark, saturated colors.
  • Cons: It’s easy to add too much coloring, which cannot be undone. Some people don’t like the taste of the red dyes, but you can usually find ones labeled “no-taste.” Since it’s even thicker than liquid gel dye, it can be also harder to incorporate into stiff doughs.

Natural Food Colorings

  • What they’re made out of: Natural and plant sources; no glycerine or corn syrup.
  • How it’s sold: Small dropper bottles.
  • How to use it: Use by adding drop by drop. Natural food colorings are great to use in allergy-free baking.
  • Pros: Good for those allergic to synthetic dyes.
  • Cons: Can be hard to find (check specialty stores or online) and more expensive than other food dyes. The colors are more muted and not as brilliant as synthetic dyes.

Powdered Dye

  • What it’s made out of: Synthetic coloring with no water, glycerine, or corn syrup.
  • How it’s sold: Jars of completely dry powder.
  • How to use it: Add directly into a dry mixture, mix with a few drops of clear alcohol, or brush the powder directly onto foods as a finish.
  • Pros: Since there is no liquid in powdered dyes, it’s great in recipes where any added liquid makes a huge difference, like in crystal sugar, chocolate, macarons, or French meringues. Powdered dye won’t dry out like other food dyes and has an extremely long shelf life. Great for producing really dark shades of color.
  • Cons: Can be hard to find (online is easiest), and you have to blend it yourself.


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