Food Analysis pp 573-586 | Cite as

Color Analysis

  • Ronald E. Wrolstad
  • Daniel E. Smith
Part of the Food Analysis book series (FSTS)


Color, flavor, and texture are the three principal quality attributes that determine food acceptance, and color has a far greater influence on our judgment than most of us appreciate. We use color to determine if a banana is at our preferred ripeness level, and a discolored meat product can warn us that the product may be spoiled. The marketing departments of our food corporations know that, for their customers, the color must be “right.” The University of California Davis scorecard for wine quality designates four points out of 20, or 20% of the total score, for color and appearance (1). Food scientists who establish quality control specifications for their product are very aware of the importance of color and appearance. While subjective visual assessment and use of visual color standards are still used in the food industry, instrumental color measurements are extensively employed. Objective measurement of color is desirable for both research and industrial applications, and the ruggedness, stability, and ease of use of today’s color measurement instruments have resulted in their widespread adoption.


Color Measurement Color Perception Normal Color Vision Standard Observer Chromaticity Diagram 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors of this chapter wish to acknowledge Dr. Jack Francis, a legend in the area of color analysis and the person who wrote the chapter on this topic in the previous two editions of this book. Ideas for the content or organization, along with some of the text, came from his chapter. Dr. Francis offered the use of his chapter contents.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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