Note to US readers: Think of Smarties as a kind of European M&M (even though we have those too).
The solution for a substitute for blue food colouring? … Spirulina!
The question that instantly comes to mind is, “Shouldn’t that make them green?” Well, I don’t know the science behind it, but it seems like a move in the right direction, at least.
From pa.press.net …
“Blue Smarties are making a comeback — made with a colouring extracted from seaweed. They were dropped nearly two years ago as part of a drive to rid the sweets of artificial colours.
Manufacturer Nestlé said the new blue colouring comes from a seaweed called spirulina. It means blue Smarties will now reappear in packs along with the seven other colours.
Nestlé dropped the blue Smarties in 2006 in light of consumer concerns about additives in children’s foods.
Smarties brand manager Michelle Roberts said: ‘We are now delighted to have found a solution that allows us to bring back blue Smarties with no artificial colours and flavours, just like the rest of the Smarties range.’
The original vibrant blue Smarties were first introduced in 1989.”
Obviously I’m not going to start eating Smarties for their ‘health benefits’, but I think it shows an interesting sway, by mainstream consumers, towards exactly what they consider to qualify as food.
Maybe one day we’ll see dairy-free raw chocolate spirulina Smarties.