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a This table lists the most common approved colorants.

b To simplify the terminology, EU assigns a code to identify those additives that were evaluated. The letter "E" precedes code number. NL = EU has not assigned a code number and current legislation does not cover the corresponding pigment. c In parenthesis are shown other common names.

d ADI = acceptable daily intake; NE = pigment with a "not specified" ADI. It is used in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). However, NE does not mean that unlimited intake is acceptable. It means that at the levels used to achieve the desired effect and from acceptable background in food it does not, in the opinion of the JECFA, represent a hazard for health. Thus, if a substance will be used in larger amounts and/or in a wider range of foods than envisaged by JECFA, it may be necessary to obtain approval of the committee. None allocated = JECFA has been unable to allocate an ADI but nevertheless found a specific use of a substance acceptable. Thus, no allocated additives are authorized in accordance with the conditions specified. If conditions are modified, additives must be reevaluated and approved by the JECFA.

Sources: Delgado-Vargas et al. (2000),2 Francis (1999),13 and Hallagan et al. (1995).11

Lakes were developed to be used in products in which color bleeding would be a problem; those products include coated tablets, cookie fillings, and some cereals.5 In the 1936-1960 period, several studies of the safety of these pigments were carried out, and it was found that some could not be considered safe. In agreement with these studies, by 1960 color additives were redefined as:

Any dye, pigment or other substance made or obtained from a vegetable, animal or mineral or other source capable of coloring a food, drug or cosmetic or any part of the human body.

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