Colors that are considered to be natural are those dervied or extracted from natural sources such as vegetables, minerals or animals. The pigment percentage of a natural color can vary, which typically imparts a less intense, more natural hue.
Synthetically produced colors have a known structure and impart intense, uniform color. They come in two forms: dyes, which are colors that function by dissoution and lakes, which are formed by chemically reacting dyes with precipitants and substrats of alumina, which can be used for applications where bleeding is undesirable.
Synthetic color additives and those from natural sources are subject to the same safety requirements for regulatory approval.