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Posted by bio_man   February 17, 2024   2119 views
Like many others settling in for a Friday night movie with a side of snacks, I opted for Doritos chips. My perception of Doritos has always been associated with quality, but after reading the long list of ingredients for one particular flavor (Bold Barbeque), I completely lost my appetite. The flavor, which I expected to be a premium product, was instead loaded with foreign ingredients that seemed out of place. Among them, I identified at least two food coloring agents, but a third one caught me off guard – Indigotine. Intrigued by the word itself, I knew instinctually that it had something to do with color indigo, so I did some more research.

My initial hunch connecting it to the color indigo turned out to be accurate; indigotine (shown below), also known as FD&C Blue No. 2, is a synthetic blue dye derived from coal tar or petroleum (yes, the main component of Vaseline). The process of creating such colors involves intricate chemical synthesis to achieve stable pigments for consumption – you can imagine the difficulty of converting pure black petroleum oil into a vibrant blue color!


The incorporation of Indigotine into Doritos chips serves to enhance the visual appearance of the product and contributes to maintaining color consistency across various batches. While this may sound like a valid reason for the company to continue using the ingredient, given the already high cost per bag of Doritos, I believe a more natural food coloring alternative should be used instead.

Furthermore, while the FDA sets limits, knowing we are eating something made from petroleum should be a red flag for everyone. Whether or not it poses toxicity risks at higher concentrations, why should anyone substitute a natural food coloring agent over one that is made in a laboratory?

As I sat down with my Bold Barbeque Doritos, I found myself at a crossroads, torn between what I once perceived as a guilty pleasure and what now seemed like industrial sludge smeared onto a corn wafer. Unable to compromise, I chose to skip on the snack that I had already purchased. However, since chips are my weakness, next Friday I plan to grab plain ones and pair them with a natural dip. That way, I control what goes into my body.

Bottom line, knowing what's on our plates matters. Always do your due diligence before indulging in snacks or any food product.

Ingredients Snacks Doritos Food Coloring Food chemistry Petroleum toxicity
Posted in Discoveries
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