How Much Food Dyes Are in M & M’s?

May 8, 2011 |

What is inside the candy shell?

“Dark Chocolate Inside A Colorful Candy Shell” is what you read on every M & M’s container. Very good, but many customers would like to know what is inside the candy shell too! Here is what and how the DyeDiet has discovered.

The candies were separated by colors, weighted and the food dyes were extracted with deionized water. The solutions were analyzed by spectrophotometry with SpectroVis Plus equipment.

M & M's before and after the extraction

M & M’s before and after the extraction: milk chocolate is what remained

The results are presented in the chart below. With every container of the medium size M & M’s milk chocolate candies you get 116 mg of the four artificial food colors 80 % of which are allergy/ADHD triggering Yellow 6 and Red 40. Please note that we have not conducted the analyses for Blue 2 artificial food color which is also listed in the ingredients list.

Food Dyes Detected in a Container of M & Ms

Food Dyes Detected in a Container of M & Ms

You can always check what is the FDA Acceptable Daily Intake of the Food Dyes but the way it was established cannot guarantee that the ADI is safe for everyone.

M & M’s Risk Score Diagram, DDRS ~ 130

The colors and artificial flavors come with 11 foreign food additives (red segments, 92 units) which we may consider as anti-nutrients. Two benign additives (yellow segments, 9 units) and 10 nutritional ingredients (green segments, 28 units) are what your body may find useful. With all this you take high health risk DDFI = 92/28 ~ 3 and low nutritional value of DDNF = 28/101 ~ 0.3. These values are pretty common for the Most Risky American Food.

M & M's Risk Score Diagram

It looks like the DyeDiet “dyegram” is too red. Isn’t it? How do you feel about it? Well, the good news is that the same company, Mars offers you much healthier chocolate product which you can find in the same Walmart aisle right next to the M & M’s.

Dove Dark Chocolate Risk Score Diagram, DDRS ~ 23

With only 1 foreign additive (red, 6 units), no benign additives (yellow, 0) and 6 nutritional ingredients (green, 17 units) you get low health risk of DDFI = 6/17 ~ 0.4 and descent nutritional value of DDNF = 17/6 ~ 3. This chocolate is some 40% higher in fat but you can eat it and treat your children to it without a fear of chronic intoxication.

Dove Chocolate Risk Score Diagram

M & M’s vs Dove chocolate comparison

Nutrients,g per serving M & M’s milk  chocolate Dove dark chocolate
Calories 210 210
Total carbs 30 24
Sugars 27 19
Total fat 9 13
Wal-Mart price per container $2.67 a $3.48 b
DyeDiet Risk Score  (DDRS) 130 23
DyeDiet Foreign Chemical Impact  (DDFI) 3 0.4
DyeDiet Nutrition Factor  (DDNF) 0.3 3
Recommendation NO Yes

a 12.6 OZ (357.2 g) container; b 11.0 OZ (311.9 g)

M & M's and Dove Risk vs Nutrition LabelsYes, we realize very well that crunching with M & M’s may be a fun. But if you wish to put a limit to your and your children’s intake of foreign, anti-nutritional chemicals like the artificial food dyes, there is always a less risky choice nearby.

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Category: American diet, Candy

Comments (3)

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  1. Great article! So happy to finally see a decent post about tis topic. I will bookmark it so that I may come back and read more.

  2. Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one.

  3. benamore says:

    Even better, have the Ritter Sport Hazelnut chocolate. DDNF = 6.75 (excellent). It comes with vanillin (artificial flavor) as the only non nutritional additive and less sugar. It is highest quality delicious chocolate made in Germany.