Food coloring comes in four different forms: paste, liquid, gel and powder. It is used to tint foods, including frosting, sugar, coconut, candy and cookie dough. Paste food coloring is one of the most concentrated forms of coloring.
Food coloring paste consists of dye or pigment that is often blended with glycerin, propylene glycol and dextrose, according to International Foodcraft. Gums may also be added.
In commercial applications, paste food colorings are useful for taffy and hard candy. Food coloring in paste format can be hard to measure, according to International Foodcraft.
Because paste food coloring is twice as concentrated as regular food coloring, only a small amount is required. Much more vivid and deep colors can be created, according to Baking911.com. Unlike a liquid coloring, paste coloring does not water down icing or food.
Paste food coloring offers the home baker a much wider selection of colors than are available in liquid food coloring. Cake Craft brand paste food coloring is available in 42 shades.
Where to Buy
Most grocery stores carry only liquid food coloring. To purchase paste food coloring, check craft stores or other stores that carry cake decorating supplies.
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Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Clyde Robinson