Blue food

Me, proudly holding blue tortillas

Blue foods are rare in nature, but are the most intriguing for people, especially on Instagram. Blue color in food and drink is seen as “artificial”, that is why the latest blue products to enter in the market stressed the “natural” origin of their color.

Blue color has always been interesting for artists. For example, the Italian Futurist Marinetti served white wine, artificially colored blue. Alfred Hitchcock used to serve his guests meals composed only by artificially blue food.

In the years, several attempts to introduce blue food in the marketplace, failed miserable. See, for example, blue tomato ketchup and blue margarine. The only blue food consumers seem to like, is actually a drink: blue curaçao. Understanding the reasons behind the aversion to blue food is important to try to change consumers’ behavior.

Among natural blue food, we can include blue potatoes, blueberries, blue corn, blue lobster, blue fish and blue cheeses (Roquefort and Gorgonzola, for example).

Recently, the color blue has become popular in the food industry. Contrary to the past, now the food are soft-colored, using “natural” coloring agents. Blue Magellan gin, for example, is colored with iris flowers. Blumond, a sparkling wine, is colored with pea flowers. Another largely used coloring agent is Blue Majik, an extract of a blue-green algae, called spirulina. Moreover, it is sold as “superfood” for its anti-inflammatory properties. In other field, as medicinal products, blue is indeed a desirable color. See, for instance, mouthwash and Viagra.

Nowadays, it seems that blue is used mostly to capture people’s attention and to make food products more instagrammable.

Will blue food and drink become even more popular? Probably yes.

Yumchaa recently launched the Blue Voodoo Magic Tea, a blue tea transforming in purple tea when lemon is added.

Personally, I loved the blue corn tortillas in the photo. Both for the exotic color and for the taste.

So, stay tuned and wait for more #bluefood.

Reference:

Spence, “What is so unappealing about blue food and drink?”, (2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgfs.2018.08.001

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Student in Food Chemistry, High school science teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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