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September 8, 1928


JAMA. 1928;91(10):729-730. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02700100041014

Probably the most obvious and yet the least considered of the properties of the human dietary, taken as a whole, is its color. The blue, red, yellow and orange of fruits, the green, red and yellow of vegetables, and the brown and red of meats are so well identified with those foods which provide the better known dietary essentials that these pigments are taken as a matter of course. An attempt to devise a colorless experimental ration is attended with so much difficulty that one is readily convinced of the ubiquity of natural food pigments. Efforts have been made to evaluate the physiologic significance of the pigments that have been recognized as chemical entities, but it would appear that until recently hemoglobin has been the only naturally occurring coloring substance in foods whose function has been even roughly defined. There is evidence that when taken by mouth it has value

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