Australia's favorite blue Smarties will no longer fascinate kids after maker Nestlé agreed to remove the Brilliant Blue artificial coloring from them. Nestlé said that it was only reacting to demands from consumer organizations that have expressed fears that the artificial color could harm children.
Dieticians welcomed this news and said that the blue coloring was the one, which was most likely to cause intolerance in kids. "The thing about blue is there are no natural equivalents. All the others can be obtained from natural sources," said Linda Hodge, a dietitian. "I believe the Brilliant Blue causes the worst symptoms of chemical intolerances."
She added that when consumers are being tested for intolerances, the first color tried out is yellow. "When we are trying to determine if a person is sensitive to food coloring, we test them first on yellow. If there is no reaction we then use red, then blue. We don't start off with blue because it is a the strongest color and gives the worst reactions," she observed.
Smarties were originally found in red, yellow, orange, green, pink and light and dark brown colors and the blue ones only came into existence in 1988. However these proved to be a huge attraction and eventually replaced the light brown variety. Other colorants which are being removed are Brilliant Blue, Quinoline Yellow, Sunset Yellow, Ponceau 4R and Carmoisine.
Brilliant Blue can also cause hypersensitivity and skin rashes.