Through appropriate technical processing (such as heating or extraction), these colours can then be used in food applications on an industrial scale.
The non-artificial colours we use have E numbers simply as a legal way of identifying and classifying them. E numbers cover a broad range of substances including food colourants, preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents, for example. Many components of natural foods have E numbers such as vitamin C which is called E300, vitamin D (E 671), lactic acid (E270) and Citric acid which is called E330, where the number is a synonym for the chemical component.
The ‘E’ stands for Europe. These additives have undergone rigorous safety tests and are permitted for use in the EU.