Iron oxides have recently been approved for use in confections, hard and soft candies, mints and chewing gum. FIS offers three grades which can be blended to produce additional shades:
Previous to this recent food category approval, Iron oxides have been, and continue to be commonly used in pet food and treats. They are a cost effective insoluble pigment.
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.
Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely used by humans, e.g., as iron ores, pigments, catalysts, in thermite and hemoglobin. Common rust is a form of iron oxide. Iron oxides are widely used as inexpensive, durable pigments in paints, coatings and colored concretes. Colors commonly available are in the "earthy" end of the yellow/orange/red/brown/black range. In Europe, when used as a food coloring, it has E number E172.