Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch Have Red Dye 40?

It is not unusual for breakfast cereals to contain red dye 40. Brands like Fruity Pebbles and Apple Jacks contain it in at least one variety of their cereal.

But, does Cinnamon Toast Crunch (CTC) also have this controversial ingredient? Let’s quickly get into it!

Red Dye 40 In Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

The manufacturer of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, General Mills, is required by U.S. regulations to list Red Dye 40 as an ingredient if a product contains it. An examination of the ingredient list (see below) of Original Cinnamon Toast Crunch reveals there is no Red Dye 40 in it.

This makes sense given CTC is essentially a light shade of brown. Red 40 is unnecessary to produce its color.

Caramel Color In Original CTC

While this cereal does not contain Red Dye 40, it is made with another coloring agent called caramel color. Like Red Dye 40, caramel color is not with out its controversies.

Caramel color is approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is in numerous store-bought foods and beverages including sodas, baked goods, sauces, and cereals. It has been used for over 150 years.

However, Center For Science In The Public Interest recommends to avoid caramel color. Essentially, caramel color produced from ammonium yields 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, both of which have demonstrated carcinogenic effects in studies involving rodents.

However, McGill is one of several sources that counters the claim that caramel color is unsafe for consumption at regulated levels. They state the following,

“There are all sorts of studies showing that caramel coloring itself is not carcinogenic. Numerous examples exist of mixtures that are not carcinogenic despite the presence of some carcinogens. Coffee is a classic example. No regulatory agency has listed caramel, or indeed any of its components as a carcinogen.”

We highly encourage you to read up on both sides of the argument regarding caramel color if the ingredient is a concern for you.

Be aware that caramel color is an unnecessary ingredient in our diet for survival. There is no problem completely eliminating it out of your diet if that is the route you wish to follow.

Original Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ingredients

The ingredient list for Original Cinnamon Toast Crunch includes:

  • Whole Grain Wheat:
    • Whole grain wheat refers to wheat that contains all three parts of the grain—the bran, germ, and endosperm. This provides more fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to refined grains.
  • Sugar:
    • Sugar is a sweetener used to enhance the taste of the cereal.
  • Rice Flour:
    • Rice flour is a finely ground powder made from rice. It is often used in food products as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.
  • Canola and/or Sunflower Oil:
    • Canola and sunflower oil are types of vegetable oils. They are commonly used in food products for cooking or as an ingredient to add moisture and texture.
  • Fructose:
    • Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and honey. It is often used as a sweetener in processed foods.
  • Maltodextrin:
    • Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate derived from starch. It is used as a thickener, filler, or to improve the texture of food products.
  • Dextrose:
    • Dextrose is a simple sugar (glucose) that is often used as a sweetener or to provide a source of quick energy.
  • Salt:
    • Salt is a common seasoning that enhances flavor. It also plays a role in preserving food and can affect the texture of baked goods.
  • Cinnamon:
    • Cinnamon is a spice derived from the bark of trees. It is added to provide a warm and sweet flavor to the product.
  • Trisodium Phosphate:
    • Trisodium phosphate is a compound used in food products as a preservative. It is made of sodium and inorganic phosphate.
  • Soy Lecithin:
    • Soy lecithin is a fatty substance extracted from soybeans. It is used as an emulsifier to improve the texture and shelf life of food products.
  • Caramel Color:
    • Caramel color is a common food coloring agent made by heating sugar. It is used to give the product a desirable color.
  • Rosemary Extract:
    • It is derived from the herb rosemary and is used as a natural antioxidant to help preserve the freshness of the product.
  • BHT Added to Preserve Freshness:
    • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a synthetic antioxidant used to prevent the oxidation and spoilage of fats and oils in the product, thus preserving its freshness.

The vitamin and mineral components include Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients), Niacinamide (a B Vitamin), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Palmitate (Vitamin A), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (a B Vitamin), Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D3.

It’s important to note that the cereal contains wheat and soy ingredients. Individuals with allergies should be aware of this.

Since ingredients can change at any time, be sure to reference the ingredients printed on the cereal box for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Make your buying decision based on ingredients using the ingredient list that is printed on the product label.