What is edible luster dust made of?
What are the ingredients in luster dust
Luster dust is known by various monikers: pearlescent, pearl pigments, luster powder, shimmer powder, and any combination of the aforementioned (eg: pearl luster dust). While all luster dust serves the same basic purpose—to contribute an aesthetic shimmer—not all luster dust is actually edible. As a consumer, it is incredibly important to ensure the pearlescent powder you procure is made from food-grade components.
So what are the ingredients of edible luster dust?
Edible luster dust can safely include a variety of ingredients, including sweeteners, anti-caking agents, powders and starches (such as plant starches, titanium dioxide, and maltodextrin), and coloring agents. The primary ingredient, the one the that contributes that desired sparkle, is typically produced from muscovite. For it to be marketed as “edible”, the ingredients used must be specifically approved for use by the FDA.
Muscovite is a type of naturally-formed mica, produced as a result of a crystallization process within the earth. Check out this informative post to learn more about how mica is naturally formed. Mica is also known as Potassium Aluminum Silicate, so don’t worry if you see that on the label.
How can you tell if luster dust is edible?
The FDA advises home and commercial bakers to take caution when choosing luster dust powders and ensure they read all labels to ensure they are adding shimmer to their culinary projects with food-safe, FDA-approved products. Manufacturers of edible glitter dusts are required to include a list of ingredients on their packaging for it to be marketed as “edible”.
It’s very important to check every time you purchase a pearlescent powder that will be ingested because there are many luster dusts on the market that are not safe for consumption and they will often be commingled with the edible versions on shelves at baking and craft stores. In fact, most decorative glitter powders on the market should not be used for decorating any sort of food or beverage. The FDA points out that most food-safe pearlescent will specifically state “edible” on the label and they stress that the words “non-toxic” and “for decorative purposes” do not signify safety for use on food.