Food Dyes in Twizzlers

May 19, 2011 |

I cannot remember that any other food manufacturer would suggest the customers to tell something like what The Hershey Company asked them for: What Do You Do With Twizzlers Candy? Well, if you think that Twizzlers were designed only to be eaten, think again. In fact some people eat them. Others do handcraft: “With the pull and peel, I pull the strands apart and make bracelets with them.”

Twizzlers licorice twists

My answer was like: “I chop them down to the tiny pieces, extract them with aqueous methanol then analyze the extracts for the food dye content and publish the results on the DyeDiet website.” Anyway, today’s show is about Twizzlers licorice low fat twists. Well, polypropylene (PP) strands are fat free, so what? Please remember, first of all, food is nutrients. Let us see why Twizzlers is a little more like a food than PP.

Twizzlers licorice Risk Score, DDRS ~ 85

It contains only “2 % or less of licorice extract, artificial color (Red 40; Blue 1) and sulfur dioxide, to maintain freshness” as you can read on the container. I am always laughingly curious about freshness of what do they maintain with the toxic sulfur dioxide. Is it corn syrup, sugar or maybe palm oil?

Twizzlers Licorice Risk Score Diagram

Not to worry, you can keep Twizzlers for a 1000 of years without loss in the quality: sugar, starch and mineral oil can last forever. But for now you get high foreign additive risk DDFI = 47/25 ~ 1.9 and low nutritional value DDNF = 25/63 ~ 0.4. In addition, seemingly innocent caramel color was recently identified as a source of carcinogens.

Now let us see how much food dyes (read the CSPI file: Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks) you and/or your children eat with every twist of the Twizzlers Licorice and the previously reported Twizzlers Strawbery candy.

Food Dye Content in Twizzlers

a Concentrations were calculated based on  Beer-Lambert Law application to our spectrophotometry studies; b One twist is about 11 g; c Serving size is 4 twists; d1 LB (453 g).

As you can see from the chart, the licorice twists have about twice as much the food dyes as the “strawberry” ones. So what are you going to do with your Twizzlers candy? The DyeDiet suggestion is to weave a rug maybe. You decide. How about to stop the “dye diet”?

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Category: Candy and snacks

Comments (4)

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  1. BhjiyJABz says:

    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great article.

  2. benamore says:

    DDRF of Twizzlers: 85
    DDFI: 47/25 = 1.9 (bad)
    DDNF: 25/63 = 0.4 (poor)

    DDRF of polypropylene strands: 0
    DDFI: 0/0 = 0 (excellent)
    DDNF: 0/0 = 0 (bad)

    Who wants the last piece of pie? It has Twizzlers in it.