Does Food Coloring Expire?

Food coloring is not something you typically use everyday and often sits on the shelf for months, if not years before running out.  If you have wondered if food coloring does expire you are not alone.

The answer is not as simple as you might think.  It really depends on the ingredients and what the food coloring is made of.  A glycerin based food coloring expired within weeks, while a water based food coloring may expire within a year.  It is important to read the ingredients to see what the food coloring is made of before throwing it out or using it in your next batch of frosting.

One helpful tip in checking to see if your food coloring is expired is to look at the bottle.  If the fluid seems cloudy or has separated in color, with the colored dye floating on top than it is safe to say it has expired.  Shake the bottle a little and see what happens to the dye.  If it mixes well and is not cloudy than the food coloring may be safe to use.

Most food coloring has an expiration date stamped on the box or bottle.  Always glance at the date before using the dye and if it has expired, it is best to discard the food coloring and pick up a new bottle.  While you may not get sick from expired food coloring, it is best to be safe when it comes to consumption.

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