Cupcakes have become extremely popular, thanks to Mary Berry to a large extent. As delicious as they may be, one in particular has caused a rise in a food allergies.
The red velvet cupcake contains cochineal as its food colourant. Cochineal is an insect, mainly found in South America and Mexico, that produces carmine acid to deter its predators. This acid can be extracted from the body and eggs of the insect and when mixed with aluminium or calcium salts makes the carmine dye or cochineal. This is used primarily as a food colourant and in lipsticks.
As Dr Isabel Skypala, consultant allergy dietician at the Royal Brompton Hospital explains, our diets have changed according to the different foods we are exposed to. This has meant that there food allergies now seen have also changed and also increased.