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Color Mixing Chart: use these variations when mixing colors.
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Decorator's Color Wheel

In the center are the primary colors - Red, Yellow, and Blue. From these, all others are made.

In the inner ring are secondary colors - orange, green, violet, made by mixing equal amounts of primary colors. Mix red and yellow for orange, mix red and blue for violet, and mix blue and yellow for green.

In the outer ring are the tertiary colors - achieved by mixing varying amounts of one primary color with the adjacent primary. Mix a large amount of red with a small
amount of blue and you will get a red-violet color. Do the opposite for blue-violet. Increase or decrease amounts form many hues in between.

Color Mixing Chart: use these variations when mixing colors.
1. To lighten any color, add small amounts of white icing
2. To darken any color, add small amounts of specified darker color of icing
3. For pastels, add 2 parts of white icing to 1 part of any colored icing
4. For purple icing using buttercream, the icing may have blue casts if you don't use milk to make your buttercream.
From CHEFMASTER® PRODUCTS Food Coloring Manufacture...
Apricot - 2 parts Orange & 1 part Egg Yellow Maroon - 4 parts Red Red & 2 parts Burgundy Raspberry - 3 parts Bakers Rose & 1 part Christmas Red
Aqua - 5 parts Sky Blue & 1 part Leaf Green Ivory - 1 Liquid Whitener & a touch of Brown and Egg Yellow Ruby Red - 1 part Holiday Red and a touch of Black
Avocado - 4 parts Lemon Yellow & 1 part Leaf Green and a touch of Black Jade - 1 Leaf Green & 1 Royal Blue & a touch of Black Rust - 8 parts orange & 2 parts Red Red & 1 part brown
Burgundy - 5 parts Bakers Rose & 1 part Violet Lavender - 5 parts pink & 1 part Violet Sea Gold- 2 parts Sky Blue & 1 part Leaf Green
Chartreuse - 2 parts Lemon Yellow & 1 Leaf Green Marigold - 3 parts Lemon Yellow & 1 part orange Silver - 1 part Black and 1 part Blue
Copper - 1 part Egg Yellow & 1 part Brown & 1 Christmas Red Melon - 1 part Orange & 3 parts Bakers Rose Skin tone - 12 parts orange & 4 parts Bakers Rose & 1 part Royal Blue
Coral - 3 parts Rose Pink & 2 parts Lemon Yellow Moss Green - 2 parts Violet & 3 parts Lemon Yellow Teal - 9 parts Sky Blue & 1/2 part Lemon Yellow
Dusty Rose - 2 parts Christmas Red & 1 part Malt Brown Navy Blue - 1 part Sky Blue & 1 part Violet Turquoise - 6 parts Sky Blue & 1 part Lemon Yellow
Gold - 10 parts Lemon Yellow & 3 parts Orange & 1 part Christmas Red Persimmon - 1 part Orange & 1 part Bakers Rose Wine - 3 parts Holiday Red & 2 parts Rose Pink
Plum - 1 part Violet & a touch of Christmas Red Grape - 1 part Sky Blue & 6 parts Bakers Rose Misty Green - 2parts Leaf Green & 1 part of Royal Blue & a touch of Black
 Note: Blend the colors before adding them to the icing. Add the blended color to the icing to get the shade desired.
Frosting Color Chart
I found this one on the web somewhare, sorry, don't remember where. Hope it helps.
Apricot 2  Orange + 1 Golden Yellow
Aqua 5 Sky Blue + 1 Leaf Green
Avocado 4 Lemon Yellow + 1 Leaf Green + touch of black
Burgundy 5 Rose Pink + 1 Violet
Chartreuse 5 Lemon Yellow + 1 Leaf Green
Rust 8 Orange + 2 Red + 1 Brown
Copper 1 Golden Yellow + 1 Brown + 1 Xmas-Red
Hunter Green Kelly Green + small amount of black
Coral 3 Rose Pink + 2 Lemon Yellow
Lavender 5 Pink + 1 Violet
Black Mix left over color icing together, then add black skin tone - Use a small amount of copper
Silver (Gray) 1 Black + 1 Blue
Turquoise 6 Sky Blue + 1 Lemon Yellow
Teal 9 Sky Blue + small amount of Lemon Yellow
Dusty Rose 5 Rose Pink + 1 Violet
Mauve 5 Rose Pink + 2 Orange + 2 Red + 2 Black
Plum 1 Violet + a touch of Christmas Red
Gold 10 Lemon Yellow + 3 Orange + 1 Red
Maroon 4 Red Red + 2 Burgundy
Ivory Use ivory paste
Moss Green 2 Violet + 3 Lemon Yellow
Navy Blue 1 Sky Blue + 1 Violet
Grape 1 Sky Blue + 6 Rose Pink
Raspberry 3 Rose Pink + 1 Christmas Red
Ruby Red 1 Red Red + 1 touch black

More - this from WILTON:

Color Tips
                    Wilton paste food color is concentrated, giving vivid or deep colors
                    without changing consistency. Add paste color to icing, in small amounts
                    with a clean toothpick or spatula.

                    When making deep colors, such as black, brown, or red use Wilton
                    paste food colors in larger amounts than normal. It can take as much as
                    1 oz. paste food color per one cup to obtain deep colors. Deep colors
                    are recommended for accent colors only.

                    When icing is colored deep red, a bitter aftertaste may be detected.
                    Red No-Taste should be used when a large portion of red coloring is
                    used on the cake. Red No-Taste does not contain red 3 which causes
                    the bitter taste.

                    When white buttercream is tinted dark black, it also can have a bitter
                    taste. Use dark chocolate icing with a small amount of black color

                    Colors deepen in buttercream icings upon setting; color icing 1-2 hours
                    before decorating. Colors fade slightly in royal, boiled or Color Flow
                    icing as they set.

                    Brown color occasionally has a green overtone to it. This usually occurs
                    with the presence of acid in the icing; lemon juice or cream of tartar.
                    Omit the acid if tinting icing brown. Also dissolving brown color in 1/4
                    teaspoon water before adding to icing will eliminate the green tone.

                    White-white is used for lightening icing that has been colored too dark.
                    Also use it for making white buttercream made with butter or margarine.

                    All deep colors in nature stain, like blueberries, but none of them are
                    harmful. Paste colors can stain teeth and skin; however, simply washing
                    skin area with soap and warm water will remove color. Bleach can be
                    used on counter tops.

                    Lukewarm water should be used first to spot stained color. Rinse
                    thoroughly, allow to dry. If color is still visible use a commercial cleaner
                    on garment, carpet, upholstery, etc. In the case of a color that has Red 3
                    as an ingredient use an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice to soak stain
                    first. Proceed with lukewarm water and then allow to dry before using a
                    commercial cleaner.

                    Sometimes lemon juice or cream of tartar will cause colors to change, i.
                    e. violet will become blue. If the recipe has one of these ingredients in it,
                    omit it. In addition, some water (from various geographical areas) tends
                    to cause color changes. If buttercream icing is made with water, use milk

                    Usually, "bleeding" colors on a decorated cake is a result of improper
                    storage. It is not recommended to ice cakes while they are still frozen, as
                    the cake needs to "breathe" while it thaws. Allow the cake to defrost
                    before icing to help prevent the colors from bleeding.

                    An air tight cover on cake stored at room temperature may encourage
                    condensation to form which can cause colors to bleed.

                    Sunlight or fluorescent light will cause some colors to fade. After the
                    cake is decorated, it is best to keep in a cool room and out of direct

Wilton Icing Color Chart

                    When mixing color always mix a small amount of color to experiment.
                    Start with base color and then add very small amounts of secondary
                    color. Be sure to mix enough color for the cakes to be decorated as it is
                    difficult to match an exact color.

                         ANTIQUE GOLD Add just an extremely small touch of
                         Leaf Green to golden yellow

                         AQUA Sky Blue and Leaf Green

                         AVOCADO Use Moss Green color

                         BLACK Our paste color or Royal Blue, Christmas Red,
                         Orange and Lemon

                         CHARTREUSE 9 parts Lemon Yellow, 1 part Leaf Green

                         CORAL Watermelon makes a very attractive coral color.
                         Or bright Creamy Peach

                         FLESH Add just an extremely small touch of Copper to
                         white icing. Ivory can also be used. Light pink with a small
                         amount of brown.

                         GRAY Add just a touch of Black to white icing.

                         HUNTER GREEN Kelly Green and a touch of black

                         JADE Leaf green, Royal Blue and a touch of black

                         LAVENDER Pink and violet

                         MARIGOLD Lemon Yellow and orange

                         MAROON Burgundy and Red Red

                         MAUVE Touch of Burgundy with very little black.

                         MISTY GREEN Leaf Green, Royal Blue and a touch of

                         MOSS GREEN Our paste color or violet and lemon

                         MULBERRY Mix Rose with a touch of Royal Blue.

                         NAVY BLUE Royal blue and black

                         RASPBERRY Pink and Red Red

                         RUST Orange, Red Red and Brown

                         SILVER We do not advise attempting to simulate silver
                         color in icing. Instead, add silver leaves or other silver
                         accessories to the cake.

                         TEAL Use teal paste color or lemon yellow and sky blue

                         TURQUOISE Sky Blue and Lemon Yellow

                         WARM GOLD Use Golden Yellow with just a touch of

Notes About Wilton Paste


                         There are three different reds - Christmas Red, a
                         blue-toned red; Red-Red, an orange toned red; and
                         Red-No Taste, a blue toned red.

                         Note: It can take as much as 1 oz. of red paste color to
                         one cup of icing to get a deep red.


                         Leaf Green is a brighter green with more yellow than Kelly
                         Green. Both of these greens require very little color, how
                         much color added depends on the tone of the green you

                         HOT PINK

                         Rose paste color will obtain hot pink with good results.
                         Rose Petal is a soft, muted rose color. Pink is a traditional
                         pastel with a slight yellow tone.


                         Royal Blue has a red tone. Sky Blue has a yellow tone.

                         DAFFODIL YELLOW

                         Daffodil Yellow is an all natural food coloring and does not
                         contain yellow #5. (Many people are allergic to this).
                         Daffodil Yellow currently contains alcohol which all other
                         colors do not have present.

Icing Color Uses

   Cookie Dough
                         A fun way to add color to cookies is to bake it right in! It's
                         easy--Knead small amounts of Icing Color into prepared
                         Roll-Out Cookie Dough until desired shade is reached. Roll out,
                         cut into shapes and bake! Take it one step further by piping
                         decorations on unbaked cookies using thinned tinted cookie
                         Here's how--Thin a small amount of tinted dough with 1 tsp.
                         Water at a time until it will pass through a small round decorating
                         tip. Add outlines, details, and even flowers. Bake following recipe

                         Easter Eggs
                         Create a rainbow of colored eggs for Easter matched to your
                         basket, outfit, or bonnet! It's easy, fast and convenient, using
                         Wilton Icing Colors. Put 1 tsp. Vinegar in 3/4 cup very hot water.
                         Mix in icing color until the water is a very deep hue. Let water set
                         a few minutes, stir until completely dissolved, then begin to
                         brighten and color dozens of eggs! Experiment with different
                         colors, using a test egg to try out different combinations! Your
                         Easter egg-coloring possibilities are endless--even the Easter
                         bunny couldn't do better!

                         Bread Dough -- Just add icing color to the dough while
                         kneading! For an extra special touch, bake bread in one of
                         Witon's shaped pans.

                         Punch -- You may choose to color your punch or you can use
                         Wilton's Singles! Molds to make ice cubes. It is best to make
                         the molds with lemon-lime soda to avoid watered down punch.

WILTON Icing Color Mixing Suggestions
When mixing color always mix a small amount of color to experiment. Start with base color and then add very small amounts of secondary color. Be sure to mix enough color for the cakes to be decorated as it is difficult to match an exact color.

ANTIQUE GOLD Add just an extremely small touch of Leaf Green to Golden Yellow

AQUA Sky Blue and Leaf Green

AVOCADO Use Moss Green color

BLACK Our paste color or Royal Blue, Christmas Red, Orange and Lemon

CHARTREUSE 9 parts Lemon Yellow, 1 part Leaf Green

CORAL Creamy peach and a touch of pink or orange and a touch of pink.

FLESH Add just an extremely small touch of Copper to white icing. Ivory can also be used. Light pink with a small amount of brown.

GRAY Add just a touch of Black to white icing.

HUNTER GREEN Kelly Green and a touch of Black

JADE Leaf green, Royal Blue and a touch of Black

LAVENDER Pink and Violet

MARIGOLD Lemon Yellow and Orange

MAROON Burgundy and Red Red

MAUVE Touch of Burgundy with very little Black.

MISTY GREEN Leaf Green, Royal Blue and a touch of Black

MOSS GREEN Our paste color or Violet and Lemon Yellow

MULBERRY Mix Rose with a touch of Royal Blue.

NAVY BLUE Royal Blue and Black

PERIWINKLE Royal Blue and Violet

PLUM Use violet with a touch of Christmas red.

RASPBERRY Pink and Red Red

RUST Orange, Red Red and Brown

SILVER We do not advise attempting to simulate silver color in icing. Instead, add silver leaves or other silver accessories to the cake.

TEAL Use teal paste color or Lemon Yellow and Sky Blue

TURQUOISE Sky Blue and Lemon Yellow

WARM GOLD Use Golden Yellow with just a touch of brown.

Food Coloring Facts from Chefmaster

The color of food is an integral part of our culture and enjoyment of life. Who would deny the mouth-watering appeal of a deep-pink strawberry ice on a hot summer day or a golden Thanksgiving turkey garnished with fresh green parsley?

Even early civilizations such as the Romans recognized that people "eat with their eyes" as well as their palates. Saffron and other spices were often used to provide a rich yellow color to various foods. Butter has been colored yellow as far back as the 1300's.

Today all food color additives are carefully regulated by federal authorities to ensure that foods are safe to eat and accurately labeled. This brochure provides helpful background information about color additives, why they are used in foods, and regulations governing their safe use in the food supply.
What is a Color Additive?

Technically, a color additive is any dye, pigment or substance that can impart color when added or applied to a food, drug, cosmetic or to the human body.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating all color additives used in the United States. All color additives permitted for use in foods are classified as "certifiable" or "exempt from certification" (see Table I).

Certifiable color additives are manmade, with each batch being tested by manufacturer and FDA. This "approval" process, known as color additive certification, assures the safety, quality, consistency and strength of the color additive prior to its use in foods.

There are nine certified colors approved for use in food in the United States. One example is FD&C Yellow No.6, which is used in cereals, bakery goods, snack foods and other foods.

Color additives that are exempt from certification include pigments derived from natural sources such as vegetables, minerals or animals, and man-made counterparts of natural derivatives.

For example, caramel color is produced commercially by heating sugar and other carbohydrates under strictly controlled conditions for use in sauces, gravies, soft drinks, baked goods and other foods.

Whether a color additive is certifiable or exempt from certification has no bearing on its overall safety. Both types of color additives are subject to rigorous standards of safety prior to their approval for use in foods.

Certifiable color additives are used widely because their coloring ability is more intense than most colors derived from natural products; thus, they are often added to foods in smaller quantities. In addition, certifiable color additives are more stable, provide better color uniformity and blend together easily to provide a wide range of hues. Certifiable color additives generally do not impart undesirable flavors to foods, while color derived from foods such as beets and cranberries can produce such unintended effects.

Of nine certifiable colors approved for use in the United States, seven color additives are used in food manufacturing (see Table II). Regulations known as Good Manufacturing Practices limit the amount of color added to foods. Too much color would make foods unattractive to consumers, in addition to increasing costs.
What Are Dyes and Lakes?

Certifiable color additives are available for use in food as either "dyes" or "lakes." Dyes dissolve in water and are manufactured as powders, granules, liquids or other special purpose forms. They can be used in beverages, dry mixes, baked goods, confections, dairy products, pet foods and a variety of other products.

Lakes are the water insoluble form of the dye. Lakes are more stable than dyes and are ideal for coloring products containing fats and oils or items lacking sufficient moisture to dissolve dyes. Typical uses include coated tablets, cake and donut mixes, hard candies and chewing gums.

Why Are Color Additives Used In Foods?

Color is an important property of foods that adds to our enjoyment of eating. Nature teaches us early to expect certain colors in certain foods, and our future acceptance of foods is highly dependent on meeting these expectations.

Color variation in foods throughout the seasons and the effects of food processing and storage often require that manufacturers add color to certain foods to meet consumer expectations. The primary reasons of adding colors to foods include:

    * To offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, extremes of temperature, moisture and storage conditions.
    * To correct natural variations in color. Off-colored foods are often incorrectly associated with inferior quality. For example, some tree-ripened oranges are often sprayed with Citrus Red No.2 to correct the natural orangy-brown or mottled green color of their peels (Masking inferior quality, however, is an unacceptable use of colors.)
    * To enhance colors that occur naturally but at levels weaker than those usually associated with a given food.
    * To provide a colorful identity to foods that would otherwise be virtually colorless. Red colors provide a pleasant identity to strawberry ice while lime sherbet is known by its bright green color.
    * To provide a colorful appearance to certain "fun foods." Many candies and holiday treats are colored to create a festive appearance.
    * To protect flavors and vitamins that may be affected by sunlight during storage.
    * To provide an appealing variety of wholesome and nutritious foods that meet consumers' demands.

How Are Color Additives Regulated?

In 1900, there were about 80 man-made color additives available for use in foods. At that time there were no regulations regarding the purity and uses of these dyes.

Legislation enacted since the turn of the century, however, has greatly improved food color additive safety and stimulated improvements in food color technology.

The Food and Drug Act of 1906 permitted or "listed" seven man-made color additives for use in foods. The Act also established a voluntary certification program, which was administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); hence man-made color additives became known as "certifiable color additives".

The Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act of 1938 made food color additive certification mandatory and transferred the authority for its testing from USDA to FDA. To avoid confusing color additives used in food with those manufactured for other uses, three categories of certifiable color additives were created:

    * Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) - Color additives with application in foods, drugs or cosmetics;
    * Drug and Cosmetic (D&C) - Color additives with applications in drugs or cosmetics;
    * External Drug and Cosmetic (External D&C) - Color additives with applications in externally applied drugs (e.g. ointments) and in externally applied cosmetics.

In 1960, the Color Additive Amendments to the FD&C Act placed color additives on a "provisional" list and required further testing using up-to-date procedures. One section of the amendment known as the Delaney Clause, prohibits adding to any food substance that has been shown to cause cancer in animals or man regardless of the dose. Under the amendments, color additives exempt from certification also are required to meet rigorous safety standards prior to being permitted for use in foods.

According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, a certifiable color additive used in food must be listed in the ingredient statement by its common or usual name. All label printed after July 1, 1991 must comply with this requirement.
How Are Color Additives Approved for Use in Foods?

To market a new color additive, a manufacturer must first petition FDA for its approval. The petition must provide convincing evidence that the proposed color additive performs as it is intended. Animal studies using large doses of the color additive for long periods are often necessary to show that the substance would not cause harmful effects at expected levels of human consumption. Studies of the color additive in humans also may be submitted to FDA.

In deciding whether a color additive should be approved, the agency considers the composition and properties of the substance, the amount likely to be consumed, its probable long-term effects and various safety factors. Absolute safety of any substance can never be proven. Therefore, FDA must determine if there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from the color additive under its proposed conditions of use.

If the color additive is approved, FDA issues regulations that may include the types of foods in which it can be used, the maximum amounts to be used and how it should be identified on food labels. Color additives proposed for use in meat and poultry products also must receive specific authorization by USDA.

Federal officials then carefully monitor the extent of Americans' consumption of the new color additive and results of any new research on its safety.

In addition, FDA operates an Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) to help serve as an ongoing safety check of all activities. The system monitors and investigates all complaints by individuals or their physicians that are believed to be related to food and color additives; specific foods; or vitamin and mineral supplements. The ARMS computerized database helps officials decide whether reported adverse reactions represent a real public health hazard, so that appropriate action can be taken.
Additional Information About Color Additives

Q. Are certain people sensitive to FD&C Yellow No.5 in foods?

A. FDA's Advisory Committee on Hypersensitivity to Food Constituents concluded in 1986 that FD&C Yellow No.5 may cause hives in fewer that one out of 10,000 people. The committee found that there was no evidence the color additive in foods provokes asthma attacks nor that aspirin-intolerant individuals may have a cross-sensitivity to the color. As with other color additives certifiable for food use, whenever FD&C Yellow No.5 is added to foods, it is listed on the product label. This allows the small portion of people who may be sensitive to the color to avoid it.

Q. What is the status of FD&C Red No.3?

A. In 1990, FDA discontinued the provisional listing of all lake forms of FD&C Red No.3 and its dye form used in external drugs and cosmetics. The uses were terminated because one study of the color additive in male rats showed an association with thyroid tumors. In announcing the decision, FDA that any human risk posed by FD&C Red No.3 was extremely small and was based less on safety concerns than the legal mandate of the Delaney Clause. FD&C Red No.3 remains permanently listed for use in food and ingested drugs, although FDA has announced its intent to propose rescinding those listings.

Q. Why are decisions sometimes changed about the safety of food color additives?

A. Since absolute safety of any substance can never be proven, decisions about the safety of color additives or other food ingredients are made on the best scientific evidence available. Because scientific knowledge is constantly evolving, federal officials often review earlier decisions to assure that the safety assessment of a food substance remains up-to-date. Any change made in previous clearances should be recognized as an assurance that the latest and best scientific knowledge is being applied to enhance the safety of the food supply.

Q. Do food color additives cause hyperactivity?

A. Although this theory was popularized in the 1970's, well-controlled studies conducted since then have produced no evidence that food color additives cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children. A Consensus Development Panel of the National Institutes of Health concluded in 1982 that there was no scientific evidence to support the claim that colorings or other food additives cause hyperactivity. The panel said that elimination diets should not be used universally to treat childhood hyperactivity, since there is no scientific evidence to predict which children may benefit.

Table 1. Color Additives Permitted For Direct Addition To Human Food In The United States
Certifiable Colors Colors Exempt from Certification
FD&C Blue No.1 (Dye and Lake), FD&C Blue No.2 (Dye and Lake), FD&C Green No.3 (Dye and Lake), FD&C Red No.3 (Dye), FD&C Red No.40 (Dye and Lake), FD&C Yellow No.5 (Dye and Lake), FD&C Yellow No.6 (Dye and Lake), Orange B*, Citrus Red No.2* Annatto extract, B-Apo-8'-carotenal*, Beta-carotene, Beet powder, Canthaxanthin, Caramel color, Carrot oil, Cochineal extract (carmine); Cottonseed flour, toasted partially defatted, cooked; Ferrous gluconate *, Fruit juice, Grape color extract*, Grape skin extract* (enocianina), Paprika, Paprika oleoresin, Riboflavin, Saffron, Titanium dioxide*, Turmeric, Turmeric oleoresin, Vegetable juice
*These food color additives are restricted to specific uses.

Table II. Color Additives Certifiable For Food Use

Name/Common Name Hue Common Food Uses

FD&C Blue No.1
Brilliant Blue FCF Bright blue Beverages, dairy products powders, jellies, confections, condiments, icings, syrups, extracts

FD&C Blue No.2
Indigotine Royal Blue Baked goods, cereals, snack foods, ice cream, confections, cherries

FD&C Green No.3
Fast Green FCF Sea Green Beverages, puddings, ice cream, sherbert, cherries, confections, baked goods, dairy products

FD&C Red No.40
Allura Red AC Orange-red Gelatins, puddings, dairy products, confections, beverages, condiments

FD&C Red No.3
Erythrosine Cherry-red Cherries in fruit cocktail and in canned fruits for salads, confections, baked goods, dairy products, snack foods

FD&C Yellow No.5
Tartrazine Lemon Yellow Custards, beverages, ice cream, confections, preserves, cereals

FD&C Yellow No.6
Sunset Yellow Orange Cereals, baked goods, snack foods, ice cream, beverages, dessert powders, confections

Food and Drug Administration HFI 140
5600 Fishers Lane Rockville MD 20857

in cooperation with

International Food Information Council Foundation
1100 Connecticut Ave, N.W. Suite 430
Washington, D.C. 20036

January 1993