Food dyes comprise different groups which impart color to a wide range of food products. Food products are mainly purchased and consumed by people because they are nutritive and flavorsome and have an attractive color. Food color stimulates appetite and enhances its esthetic appeal of food on table for customer. With sky rocketing industrialization and modernization, the worldwide production of dyes in 2010 was forecasted to be 2.1 metric tons. It has been estimated that 15% of total dyes produced worldwide are discharged to water bodies which adversely affect aquatic ecosystem. Dyes in water reduces its transparency, thereby declining light penetration in the water, hence influencing photosynthesis which consequently reduces dissolved oxygen which is an alarming situation for both aquatic flora and fauna. Dyes wastewater discharged from huge number of industries like textile, leathers, paint, food, pharmaceutical etc. and deteriorating the aquatic environment and pose threat to living organism. The presence of dye molecules in water channels is an emerging alarm to an environmental scientist. An environmental friendly and self-sustainable treatment method should be explored to address this problem. Therefore, this work elaborates the various methods used for removal and degradation of dyes in water, although some processes have a common shortcoming like production of secondary pollution to the environment. This chapter have tried to highlight the important application of food dyes, their contamination and their toxic effect. Herein we also focus on remediation techniques like separation (adsorption, filtration, etc.) and degradation (chemical, biological and electrochemical oxidation) of dyes in aqueous solution. The mechanism and pros and cons of different methods are explored and discussed briefly.
Part of the book: Water Chemistry