Why Colouring Powders are Much Better than Gels & Pastes

We wanted to keep this article short and sweet however at the same time wanted to simply indicate WHY Chromacake powders are so much better in many ways than the traditional gels and pastes currently being used on the market for cake colouring.


Tell us about the Risks associated with Colouring Gels...


Firstly Gels are made using a combination of colouring with corn syrup and/or glycerine base. These can cause multiple issues when stored away for extended periods, warmer temperatures and when not stored well with gel exposed or lids not closed well. Yes they are more intense than your regular food colouring however pose health risks if not handled correctly. 


Of course we know most people keep a clean kitchen / cake preparation area however there will be times when we can be careless and forget small things like cleaning any excess gel or tightening a lid on a bottle. Being primarily a form of raw syrup liquid, gels an go bad and sticky if left exposed.


Hence spoilage will occur because some food particles or bacteria got inside.


Another important note to understand that most of the colouring Gels are imported from countries like the USA. They have climates completely different to Australia and so you'll need to be very careful in hotter, more humid temperatures as gels can potentially spoil if again they are not stored correctly. 


Then Gel's expiration dates are limited even further if such prolonged exposure occurs which can then become hazardous to people consuming the product once placed into a mixture. In Australia we feel that there isn't enough awareness on the detriments Gels can have in foods. 


Another issue with Gels is that certain mixtures don't respond as well to Gels in comparison to more finer and purer colouring products like powders. Being syrup form, Gels can potentially alter or have an effect on certain mixtures that are sensitive to moisture. While you may only need a small amount, this still will have an adverse effect.


The Syrup like consistency will also limit the purity of colouring that is embedded in the Gel's mixture requiring you to add more Gel for a vivid result which then can amplify the dangers discussed above yet in addition adding even more syrup / glycerine to the mixture which alone is a detriment to anyone's health including children who would it would affect the most. Something else to also consider is that a Gel's base always has the potential to crystallize and also clog up if it dries up or is used in cold temperature environment. While this sounds harmless again it can be detrimental to the life of the Gel's contents apart from being frustrating to the user. 



Ok so now tell us about Colouring Powders...


On the other hand food colouring powders are made from a more purer base of edible colouring dyes that are all safe to consume. Having no liquid or syrup content whatsoever, colouring powders are in essence much more potent and intense many times more than colouring gels. If the powder's texture is very fine then colours will be amplified even further requiring even less colouring to add into mixtures.


Colouring powders do not possess any raw or spoilable properties meaning that once the lid is closed, it'll remain usable for a very long time regardless of temperature. Of course manufacturers of powders will still indicate a shelf like or expiration date for safety law reasons however the truth is colouring powders can go on stored for years without risk of moulding, bubbling, hazing or yellowing like you would get in Gels. It wont form living bacteria like in Gels if left for long periods.


The entire essence of a powder is it's purity of colour and just on this point colours will be magnified many times with the intensity produced using only very little compared to Gels. This of course provides more striking and vivid results in any mixture. This magnification of colour is even more intensified if the powder is very finely textured which potentially allows the mixture to directly dissolve and pass through the colouring as a rapid rate.


"An Example of the fast absorption of colouring powders in mixtures can be highlighted when you take medication as a pill instead of directly injecting it into your body. The pill has an outer casing (Much like the syrup in the gel) which slows down the absorption process."


Now we are not in anyway saying that colouring gels are a bad product. We are simply outlining the disadvantages and differences Gels have in comparison to colouring powders. Moreover we commonly see cake decorators and bakers use Gels in mixtures that are not well suited for the syrup based product so we wanted to make the differences clear so decorators can make a better choice. 


If you do like the sound of colouring powders we do invite you to view the entire range of Chromacake Concentrated Powders via the Chromacake website. 

Please give us a call or email us if you have any questions about this blog. Thankyou ! 

Comments: 1
Kelly 07-09-2016 22:32
If using the powder in fondant does it require a lot more kneading to mix the colour through?
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