E123 - Amaranth

Functions: Colour

Amaranth, FD&C Red No. 2, E123, C.I. Food Red 9, Acid Red 27, Azorubin S, or C.I. 16185 is a dark red to purple azo dye used as a food dye and to color cosmetics. The name was taken from amaranth grain, a plant distinguished by its red color and edible protein-rich seeds. Amaranth is an anionic dye. It can be applied to natural and synthetic fibers, leather, paper, and phenol-formaldehyde resins. As a food additive it has E number E123. Amaranth usually comes as a trisodium salt. It has the appearance of reddish-brown, dark red to purple water-soluble powder that decomposes at 120 °C without melting. Its water solution has absorption maximum at about 520 nm. Like all azo dyes, Amaranth was, during the middle of the 20th century, made from coal tar; modern synthetics are more likely to be made from petroleum byproducts.Since 1976 Amaranth has been banned in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration -FDA- as a suspected carcinogen. Its use is still legal in some countries, notably in the United Kingdom where it is most commonly used to give Glacé cherries their distinctive color. - Wikipedia

Risk of overexposure

EFSA evaluation: Scientific Opinion on the re‐evaluation of Amaranth -E 123- as a food additive (2010/07/26)

No or very low risk of over exposure
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has determined that no population groups has more than 5% of members at risk of consuming more than the acceptable daily intake of E123 - Amaranth.

To evaluate your exposure to the E123 - Amaranth food additive, you can browse our list of products that contain it. See the list of products with E123 - Amaranth below.

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