As the name suggests, natural dyes can be extracted from nature (e.g. from animals or plants). Plant dyes include chlorophyll and saffron. Animal origin are, for example, cochineal and purple, as well as haemoglobin, the red blood pigment.

Colouring foods are natural raw materials that are used as colouring agents due to their colouring properties. The colouring foods include beetroot, spinach, hibiscus, curcuma, tomatoes, grapes, peppers, carrots, etc.

Colouring foods are considered as ingredients with colouring properties and not as colouring agents. Therefore, they are not subject to any quantitative limit. They are used, for example, in ice cream, confectionery, fruit preparations and dairy products.