FD&C Blue #2: Indigotine
Indigo was originally made from two plants. One is Woad,
Isatis tinctoria, a native of Greece and Italy, and the other is
Indigo, Indigofera tinctoria, a native of India.
At the end of the 19th century, German scientists synthesized the dye,
and production from plant sources declined. Most of the dye today
comes from China.
Recently, bacteria have been genetically engineered to produce the
Other closely related dyes are erioglaucine, known as FD&C blue #1:
FD&C Blue #1: Erioglaucine
and Fast Green, FD&C green #3:
FD&C Green #3: Fast Green
Indigo is the dye used to color blue jeans. It is also used in
foods under the name FD&C Blue #2.
By Simon Quellen Field