Safe juice, or a bug-colored poison?

Monday, March 16, 2009
Product Review: Tree Top Trim Strawberry Kiwi
"Ingredients: Water; Concentrated Juices of Apples Pears and Watermelons; Dextrin; Natural Flavors; Citric Acid; Kiwifruit Juice Concentrate; Orange Juice Concentrate; Strawberry Juice Concentrate; Garcinia Cambogia Extract; Cochineal; L-Carnitine Fumarate; Acesulfame Potassium; Sucralose; Chromium Polynicotinate"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochineal
Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-colored dye, carmine, is derived.

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.164/news_detail.asp
June 12, 2002
Bugs in Your Food
By Karen Schneider

"One of the most interesting examples of an animal by-product showing up in an unassuming food is cochineal extract in fruit juice. Cochineal extract, or carmine, is a red dye that is used in everything from candy to juice to lipstick and is made from the female cochineal beetles that feed on red cactus berries. While the males usually escape the fate of becoming red dye because they have wings and can make an easy exit, the females are not so lucky. Born without wings, they are easily collected when the cactus is scraped clean. After they are collected, the female beetles meet their death in boiling water, and their corpses are laid out in the sun to dry before they are crushed into a powder, which is subsequently used for dying purposes. It takes nearly 70,000 of these little bugs to make one-pound of cochineal, but the average human only consumes one to two drops of it in a given year.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, in its Guide to Food Additives, makes the following recommendation in regards to cochineal extract: "These colorings have caused allergic reactions that range from hives to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. It is not known how many people suffer from this allergy. "

[I went to the market today to buy some juice and found the well-known brand, as named above, had put in bug-based coloring to just make the juice look more appealing, certainly not for my health's sake.]

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