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Toothpaste Color Codes Are For Manufacturing Purposes Only

Dina Faisal Dina Faisal
22nd January 2022
Toothpaste Color Codes Are For Manufacturing Purposes Only
Color codes do not indicate the ingredients of toothpaste (Getty).

The Claim

Toothpaste tubes have color-coded bars that indicate the types of ingredients used, including whether it contains chemicals or is entirely natural.

Emerging story

Social media users are spreading the myth that color-coded bars on toothpaste tubes indicate the type of ingredient used. Images of the color codes are shared and explained, with green indicating a natural ingredient, red indicating natural ingredients with chemicals, blue utilizing natural ingredients mixed with medicinal preparations, and black indicating the presence of chemicals. 

Users advised people to be more cautious and to check the color code. The claim has been around for a few years and continues to resurface.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the claim and discovered it to be a forgery. The color-coded bars on toothpaste do not indicate which ingredients are present. According to Colgate, a leading manufacturer of toothpaste and oral hygiene products, the color-coded bars are only for manufacturing purposes. The color-coding system aids in the manufacturing process by informing light sensors of the location of the tube's end so that it can be appropriately cut and sealed. A color code, also known as print marks, eye marks, or eyespot, is a small rectangular printed area near the edge of printed flexible packaging material.

Form-fill-seal (FFS) machines, which cut, fill, and seal a package, require eye marks so that their sensors can "identify packaging material, control the material's position, and coordinate the separation and cutting of the flexible packaging material." The FFS machine is fed the printed material on a continuous roll, then "the sensor reads the eye mark to indicate when to cut individual units, fold the material, seal the sides (creating the packaging's shape), fill with the product, and then seal the final side," according to Consolidated Labels, a packaging company. The eye mark must be clear and have no text or images overlaying. 

There are no hidden ingredients in toothpaste; the ingredients are printed on the packaging labels, whether tube or box. Furthermore, most toothpaste brands contain the same essential ingredients, including "abrasives to help clean teeth, flavoring agents, humectants to soften the toothpaste, and detergents to help the toothpaste foam."

Misbar classifies the claim as false based on the findings. Color codes do not indicate the ingredients; instead, they are required during the manufacturing process; once in the store, the codes are useless.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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