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The Chemistry of Color Additives
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar took place on December 2, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Bhakti Petigara-Harp, chemist in the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the FDA. Dr. Petigara-Harp’s current responsibilities include research and methods development for color additives using various analytical techniques including HPLC and mass spectrometry, among others, for FDA’s color certification program.

A color additive, as defined by regulation, is any dye, pigment, or other substance that can impart color to a food, drug, or cosmetic or to the human body. Color additives are important components of many products, making them attractive, appealing, appetizing, and informative. Added color serves as a kind of code that allows us to identify products on sight, like candy flavors, medicine dosages, and left or right contact lenses. One of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) roles is to assure that color additives are safely and appropriately used. Color additives are classified as straight colors, lakes, and mixtures.


Sixty (60) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. One participant attended the program from Puerto Rico. Seminar participants received a one year subscription to one of NSTA’s SciGuide for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.


Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "Very detailed analysis of food additives, coloring and chemical structures and compositions."

  • "I obtained interesting information that I can transform into ideas to use with my pre-service teachers."

  • "These types of seminars are great because of the location. I can keep up to date even if I cannot get away."

  • "Great to get an inside perspective on the food we eat and the cosmetics we use daily."

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org


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