A guide to edible glitter – is it safe to eat or not?

After the controversy on celebrity bake-off, we discuss just how edible edible glitter actually is and look at the different variations.

Image credit: Edible Glitter - Is It Edible?
If you've been confused by the recent debate over whether the food glitter you use in your baking and cake decorating is edible or not, we've made a simple guide to the different products on the market. Rainbow Dust is a company that specialises in edible glitter, and after rigorous testing and clarification on their own products, they offer the following advice for edible and non-toxic glitter…

Food Contact Glitter

Food Contact Glitter is the glitter that has caused the most confusion in the market place due to many companies labelling them incorrectly. This type of glitter is widely used and has a place in the sugar crafter’s toolkit. Correct labelling of this type of glitter should include one of these three statements: ‘Food Contact Glitter’, ‘For removable decorations’, or ‘Non-toxic’. ‘Food Contact Glitter’ Seeing a glitter labelled as ‘Food Contact Glitter’ will give the customer confidence that the glitter has passed strict safety tests and adheres to the FSA guidance. Should a customer be unsure 
of any product they are using, or the label does not state 
Food Contact Glitter, they can ask their store for guidance. 
The store will be able to produce the certificate from the 
company that they themselves have purchased the product 
from. For example, if you look at the Rainbow Dust website you will see the type of certificate that 
is required. This should be available to view if required from the store you bought your product from. As this is a self-issued certificate, if you still continued to have doubt about a glitter product, contact the local trading standard office. ‘For removable decorations’ Decorations containing stating ‘for removable decorations’ should be removed easily from the cake before eating. This is similar in principle to removing claydough decorations, candles, and wired flowers. ‘Non-toxic’ This term means it will not cause any harm, however it is not a food.

Edible Glitter

This type of glitter has been around for many years and is used when you require a glitter that is intended to be consumed along with the cake. These types of glitters are available in a large palette of colours, from delicate pastels to strong bold colours, which is great for the decorator. Many companies offer a type of edible glitter but they vary drastically from sanding sugars to flat reflective flakes, some with more sparkle than others. Keeping this in mind, we would suggest that this needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing and decide what finished effect is required.

Edible Lustre Powder or Glitter Dust

Although not a true glitter, it has a glittery/sparkly finish and therefore falls into this category. This is a powder that creates a lustre on the finished product. Once again there is a large palette of colours and it does not need to be removed before eating. This product can also be turned into a quick paint for those small areas such as beading, or anywhere where you find it easier to paint rather than dust the lustre. Simply mix with Rainbow Dust Paint Creator to a consistency that is suitable for painting. Find out more at www.rainbowdust.com

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