Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Interesting Facts | 1 comment

Why are there so many candies and treats that are “blue raspberry” flavour?

There is no such thing as a blue raspberry in the natural world. Most all raspberries are red, though the Rubus leucodermis, sometimes called a “blue raspberry” does turn from dark red to purple as it ripens.

The flavour is purely an invention of the candy industry. They wanted to add raspberry to their line of freeze-pops, but red was already well represented with both strawberry and cherry flavours.

Originally, raspberry candy was a deep, dark red colour made with amaranth (a.k.a E123 or FD&C Red No. 2), an extract of coal tar. The colour was used in many food items and cosmetics… until 1976 when it was banned in most countries as a suspected link to cancer. Ooops, sorry kids!

So they were stuck without a distinctive colour to go with the raspberry flavour. Blue isn’t a very common colour when it comes to edible stuff, so that part of the spectrum was wide open. Thus, blue raspberry was born.

It may not make sense, but at least it won’t kill you.