I started this blog after seeing so many pictures and posts about “Edible Glitter” on the internet. What bothers me is that most of the pictures show regular craft glitter being used on food products, and in beverages and ice cubes. People are selling craft glitter and implying it can be used on food because the label says it is 'non-toxic'. But that is not the same as edible, not to me anyway!
Back around 1960 my father, John Watson, created Edible Glitter™ at his new startup company that he called Polymer Films. Today that company is part of Watson Inc. We still make Edible GlitterTM here in West Haven CT. It is made from food-grade ingredients, from a simple recipe, actually. Our Edible GlitterTM is made from Gum Arabic, which is the sap of the Gum Acacia tree, and a food coloring. For the color, we can use any FD&C color, EU colors, or what they call “color additives exempt from certification”. These colors are the ones that consumers usually call natural colors, it's just that there is no legal food-industry definition for the word "natural". Examples would include black carrot juice, cabbage juice, red radish, turmeric (the spice), etc. These are what most people refer to when they say natural colors.
Actual Edible Glitter™, made here at Watson, is made under strict quality programs, and we are a food manufacturer.
You can have a lot of fun decorating a wide range of products with magical-looking, colorful glitter, and have the product be edible. People should know there is an alternative to the 'non-toxic' craft glitter, one which is completely safe and edible.
Edible Glitter™ is available in craft stores and baking supply stores from our many distributors. You can find a list of distributors here on our website. That way you know that, when you are buying glitter for food applications, that you are getting a glitter that is actually edible, not just non-toxic.
The marketing out there can be misleading, and many of these craft glitters are inferring that you can use their products on food. Some may have small prints that say things like “not a food product”, but it is too easy to buy the wrong type of glitter.
Glitter in general is such a big trend now, and it is great to see all the creative ways people are using it. But when you are using glitter in food, you should make sure it is truly edible!