The FDA regulates added ingredients for the sole purpose of coloring the product.
Certifiable color additives require FDA certification testing on every batch to validate safe concentrations. These colors must be listed in the ingredient statement by common or usual name. Examples of certifiable colors include Yellow 6 and Red 40. These colors are synthetic.
Examples of color additives that do not require FDA batch certification and may be listed in the ingredient statement are beet juice (color) or caramel color. Spices that are used for coloring only will need to be noted as such. The most common examples are paprika (color) and turmeric (color).
The FDA considers all colors added to be artificial colors and does not permit the use of the term “natural colors.”