India Tree Natural Food Coloring and Decorations Review - Bakepedia

India Tree Natural Food Coloring and Decorations Review

India-Tree-sugars-jars

Product Description: India Tree has created a whole set of decorative embellishments from food colors to sugars and sprinkles, all made from edible, plant-based natural food coloring, as opposed to synthetic derivatives. They are also corn syrup-free. The Nature’s Colors Decorating Set, Sprinkles and Decorating Sugar are approved by both the FDA and the European Union. The sugars come in 3.3-ounce containers, and the sprinkles are in 2.7-ounce containers as seen above. The liquid colors come in a set of red, blue and green in a 2.25-ounce package, seen below.

Image: Dédé Wilson

india-tree-colors

Image: Dédé Wilson

Ingredient List:

Raspberry Red Decorating Sugar: Sugar colored with beet juice and carnauba wax.

Spring Green Decorating Sugar: Sugar colored with spinach and carnauba wax.

Periwinkle Blue Decorating Sugar: Sugar colored with vegetable juice and carnauba wax.

Carnival Mix Sprinkles: Sugar, corn starch, palm oil & palm kernel oil, dextrin, soy lecithin, colored with turmeric, annatto and vegetable juices, confectioner’s glaze and carnauba wax.

Decorating Colors Decorating Set (Red, Blue, Yellow liquid gel-like colors):

Red: Beet juice, citric acid.

Blue: Deionized water, glycerine, vegetable juice.

Yellow: Deionized water, glycerine, turmeric.

Test Kitchen Overview: The products above were sent to us from India Tree to review. Right off the bat looking at the sugars, sprinkles and colors in their containers, you can see that they have a different quality than most commercial equivalents. The colors are softer, more muted and not as primary, but they are very attractive. We were excited to have a new palette to play with.

India-tree natural food coloring -on-cookies

Image: Dédé Wilson

Once we started working with the products, however, we detected differences that required an adjusted approach, except for the sprinkles. They reacted as any sprinkles do; what you see is what you get. They didn’t melt or change color when exposed to heat and they looked attractive ringing the edges of our cookies (as seen in image above) and sprinkled on ice cream cones.

The sugars handle like all colored sugars before being exposed to heat, but you can see below that when we baked them on sugar cookies, the colors faded in the oven, particularly the red and green. The blue faded as well, but it is not as readily apparent in the photo. The same sugars added after baking, brushed on top of a sticky glaze to help them adhere, retained their pretty colors (seen above).

india-tree-baked-sugars

Image: Dédé Wilson

The liquid, gel-like colors acted the most different from their conventional counterparts. They pour out of their squeeze bottles easily, but you need much more volume to attain saturation of hue than you do with more typical commercial brands. The red in particular produces more of a deep pink no matter how much you add. The blue and yellow were more “true” in that they act more consistently during usage. The red seems to fade and become pinker no matter what. We liked the colors, but overall didn’t feel like we were getting the true primary shades of those colors, which we think is what most expect from a set of liquid food colorings packaged in those three colors. When we combined the colors, such as red and yellow to make orange, the non-primary aspect of the colors became even more pronounced and this was not a very successful endeavor.

Pros: For those dealing with allergies to colorants or looking for natural alternatives, these are a boon. The sugars, liquid colors and sprinkles all harmonize together well, so you feel like you are getting a complete decorating set that will look attractive when mixing and matching. The bottles holding the liquid colors have a very easy-to-open and close top that truly allows you to add one drop at a time with no mess. We love the blue, as it is unusual and elegant.

Cons: These have a learning curve. The colored sugars do not stay true when exposed to heat and the liquid colors are perhaps not named well. The “red” sugar is called Raspberry Red and if the liquid had the same name, then we wouldn’t have expected it to be a true primary red, which we think is suggested by packaging it with blue and yellow. Also, be prepared to use more of the food coloring than you expect, and accept the colors for what they are instead of trying to make them act like conventional reds, blues and yellows.

Decorated-india-tree

Image: Stephanie Zauderer

Suggested Use: Use the sprinkles with abandon. They have a pretty mix of color, which stays true whether on a cookie before baking or on an ice cream cone after scooping. The sugars look best if used on top of already-baked sweets. We used the food coloring in soft frostings as well as royal icing, but you could tint coconut, fondant, or glazes, too.

Where to Buy: You can find these online through Amazon and at many Whole Foods stores. The website  provides a retail locator as well. India Tree does not sell direct and does not set retail prices, so shop around as we found that they varied greatly. Prices below were from a local Whole Foods.

Price at Time of Review:
Colored Sugars: $5.49
Sprinkles: $6.95
Decorating Set of Liquid Colors: $16.99

Have you tried India Tree products? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.

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