A year ago I was researching natural food coloring for cocktails and stumbled across an instagram post that used blue spirulina in a cocktail.
I added it to my Tales of the Cocktail talk on color in cocktails and spirits and have been seeing it creep into various food and beverages. This brand is for sale on Amazon and they make a lot of other bright colors for smoothies as well.
There are very few naturally blue food colorings available, and even butterfly pea flower tea doesn't stay blue but turns pink or purple when used in gin. Spirulina seems to do the same thing - turn purple-pink with the addition of acid, but to a lesser extent in my limited experiments with it.
Anyway, I noticed that the US TTB/FDA is considering allowing more spirulina coloring in food and beverages so soon we could get naturally colored blue and green curacao.
FDA COLOR ADDITIVE PETITION FOR EXPANDING USE OF SPIRULINA EXTRACT
Many alcohol beverage products contain color additives. Color additives are added to impart color which is not natural to the product, and may only be used consistent with Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
This petition proposes to amend the FDA color additive regulations in 21 CFR 73.530 Spirulina extract to expand the use of spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) extract to include alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, condiments and sauces, dips, plant based products, salad dressings, and seasoning mixes at levels consistent with good manufacturing practice.
AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.
ACTION: Notification of petition.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that we have filed a petition, submitted by GNT USA, Inc. (GNT), proposing that the color additive regulations be amended to expand the safe use of spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) extract at levels consistent with good manufacturing practice.
DATES: The color additive petition was filed on February 21, 2020.