Was red food coloring made from beetles' wings?

Red_Food_Coloring_From_Beetles">Red_Food_Coloring_From_Beetles">Red Food Coloring From Beetles

The common food colorants cochineal and carmine (carminic acid) are indeed made from Central and South American ground beetles. This type of beetle, Dactylopius coccus, lives in a cactus called the Opuntia and were used for centuries by the Aztecs and native Americans as a red dye- in fact this was one of the first major imports of the colonists back to Spain.

Aside from food, these pigments are also used in many cosmetics, shampoos and even fruit juice! If you want to make sure you aren't ingesting beetles look for an OU symbol or K- designating that the item is Kosher (yes there are even kosher cosmetics)

FD&C Red Dye #40 (known as Red #40) is made from a petroleum product or coal tar, not insects.

For more information Click on the link below to Snopes.com