I was introduced to Crystal Colors about 5 years ago when I went to a gumpaste workshop. Beth Parvu was demonstrating gumpaste flowers and the petal dusts that she was using were the Crystal Colors powdered food colorings.
Beth told us about how she had developed the colors after deciding that she wanted to have a versatile powder color that was totally FDA approved, without any inedible ingredients. I was impressed with them for a lot of reasons, and I have used them for coloring gumpaste ever since.
Crystal Colors are food colorings, not non-toxic petal dusts. It's the difference between using food coloring pens and a Sharpie to draw on fondant. The Sharpie is non-toxic, but it isn't FDA approved for food use. It's technically not going to poison anyone, but it isn't really intended to be eaten.
The other good thing about Crystal Colors is that you can use them to color flowers, but they can also be used to color icings since they're FDA approved food colors.
They also give you a really good concentrated color, especially for dark colors like purples and reds, and when you first use them you'll find yourself using less powder than you usually do to tint your gumpaste flowers.
I asked Beth if she would be willing to talk about them a little, and she kindly agreed...
K: Why did you decide to develop the Crystal Colors food colorings?
Beth: We developed Crystal Colors to meet all US Federal Food Standards, and to make sure that they were entirely edible (to be eaten). Also to have colors to work in a multitude of ways (example: fondant, gumpaste flowers, white chocolate, buttercream icing, royal icing, etc.)
K: What makes Crystal Colors different from other petal dusts on the market today?
Beth: Crystal Colors have no fillers in them, such as cornstarch, talc, etc.
K: Crystal Colors are a little more expensive than other petal dusts, so what makes them worth the extra investment?Beth: They last 4-7 times longer than other colors on the market. A little goes a long way.
K: I saw Crystallized Colors listed on your site, what are those?
Beth: Crystallized Colors are shiny (it's the food answer to luster dust), and are entirely edible, compared to non-toxic, which is not.
K: Where can I buy the Colors?
Beth: They're available online at several sites and in specialty stores. Fran's Cake and Candy in Fairfax, VA carries them. Online, here are a few of the sites http://www.sugarpaste.com/ (Beth's site, go here for a complete color chart), also http://www.globalsugarart.com/, http://www.goldaskitchen.com/, http://www.countrykitchens.com/, and http://www.kakekraftkorner.com/.