Is Food Coloring Plant Based?

With the growing popularity of plant-based foods and diets, people have started looking for alternatives to almost everything. One such concern is food coloring that most people won’t think about when switching to a plant-based diet. But if you are wondering whether food coloring is safe for consumption on a restricted diet, read on to learn everything about it.

So, is food coloring plant based? No, food coloring is most often not plant-based. Though there are plant-based, natural food coloring options available, most coloring products used in everyday life are artificial substances obtained through a lot of processing and from a variety of chemicals and additives, making them far from plant-based goodness.

Is Food Coloring Plant Based?

Below, let us try to find out if there are any alternatives for food coloring to suit a plant-based lifestyle. 

Top 3 Food Coloring Substitutes For a Plant Based Diet

Though the food coloring industry has been heavily regulated, most artificial colors are made in laboratory settings using a combination of compounds through a number of processes. A lot of these products use animal-derived ingredients as well, making them inappropriate for a plant-based diet. 

The best substitutes are homemade food colorants using a variety of plant-based items like spinach, turmeric, beetroot, red cabbage and others to make sure they contain no animal-derived or chemically processed ingredients. 

You can also buy high-quality natural food coloring products from reputed companies like TruColor made using plant-based ingredients. It is, however, important that you check the label to ensure that they don’t interfere with your new diet. 


An all-natural food coloring option for those who follow a plant-based diet, TruColor products are all free of animal products and are completely vegan. They come in airbrush color or gel paste options. These are high-quality food colorings that look vibrant even after baking or cooking. 

The brand also offers shimmery sparkly colors that are not easy to obtain from plant-based ingredients. They also offer powder colors that can be used like regular food colorants in the kitchen. 

Color Kitchen

A high-quality brand making natural food coloring products, Color Kitchen offers different options made out of plant-based ingredients and have no flavor. This means you don’t get the taste of turmeric when you use it for the yellow color in food. And they come in powder form, having a much longer shelf life as compared to liquids. 

These colorants are not only naturally made but also gluten-free and non-GMO, suiting a wide variety of plant-based diets. With these products, it is easy to obtain desired colors in your recipes without having to use artificial products that could ruin your diet goals. 

Ellie’s Best

These are superfood powders rather than pure food colors. The products are similar to powdered colors but contain flavor as well. They are not only natural, gluten-free and non-GMO but also loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and immunity boosters. 

Some of the most popular and beneficial of these powders are turmeric extract, beetroot juice powder, barley grass powder and others that not only give a nice color to your food but also enhance the nutritional value without affecting your plant-based diet.