Call for scientific data on food colours to support re-evaluation of all food colours authorised under the EU legislation

30 March 2007

Within the framework of the systematic re-evaluation of all food colours authorised under the EU legislation, the AFC Panel is calling for data which comprises:

  • Information on data on the safety of the colours not previously reviewed in the scientific opinions by SCF and JECFA,
  • availability of original study reports as evaluated by the SCF and JECFA,
  • Information on the purity of colours presently in use, including particle size when relevant,
  • Information on production methods,
  • Information on the analytical methods available for determination in food,
  • Information on present use patterns (intake, actual use levels and exceptions to these levels).

The AFC Panel adopted this call for data at the 19th plenary meeting .

The AFC Panel would appreciate to receive data or information on when it might be available by 31 March 2007.


The Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food has been asked by the European Commission to re-evaluate authorised food colours as the first priority among the re-evaluation of authorised food additives.

The process of re-evaluation of all the food colours currently authorised (both of natural origin and synthetic) has started in 2006 and should end in 2008.

The following colours are currently under review:

  • Ponceau 4R (E124)
  • Allura Red AC (E129)
  • Quinoline Yellow (E 104)
  • Red 2G (E 128)
  • Brilliant Blue (E133)
  • Patent Blue V (E 131)
  • Sunset Yellow (E110)
  • Brilliant Black BN (E151)
  • Tartrazine (E 102)
  • Green S (E 142)
  • Cochineal (E120)
  • Copper complexes of chlorophylls and chlorophyllins (E 141)

The following further substances will, on request from the European Commission, be treated with priority:

  • E160d (Lycopene),
  • E 161b (Lutein),
  • E160a (ii) (Beta-carotene),
  • E160a (i) (Mixed carotenes),
  • E 160e (B-apo-8’-Carotenal [C30]),
  • E 160f (Ethyl ester of b-apo-8’-carotenoic acid [C30]),
  • E 150c (Ammonia caramel),
  • E 160b (Anatto, Bixin, Norbixin).

The remaining permitted colours to be evaluated are:

  • E100 (Curcumin),
  • E 110 (Orange yellow S),
  • E121 ( Riboflavin and Riboflavin-5’-phosphate),
  • E 122 (Azorubine, Carmoisine),
  • E 123 (Amaranth),
  • E 124 (Cochineal red A)
  • E 127 (Erythrosine),
  • E132 (Indigotine, Indigo carmine),
  • E 140 (Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins),
  • E 150 (Plain caramel),
  • E 150b (Caustic sulphite caramel),
  • E 150d (Sulphite ammonia caramel),
  • E 151 Black PN),
  • E 153 (Vegetable carbon),
  • E 154 (Brown FK),
  • E 155 (Brown HT),
  • E 160c (Paprika extract, Capsanthin, Capsorubin),
  • E 161g (Canthaxanthin),
  • E 162 (Beetroot Red, Betanin),
  • E 163 (Anthocyanins),
  • E 170 (Calcium carbonate),
  • E 171 (Titanium dioxide),
  • E 172 (Iron oxides and hydroxides),
  • E 173 (Aluminium),
  • E 174 (Silver),
  • E 175 (Gold),
  • E 180 (Litholrubine BK).
7 December 2006