Characteristics of Allura Red (E129) Colorant and Its Uses in Food Industry

CAS No. 25956-17-6

Chemical 6-Hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl) azo)-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid name(s) disodium salt

6-Hydroxy-5-((6-methoxy-4-sulf-o-m-tolyl) azo)-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid disodium salt

Synonyms FD&C red No. 40; C.I. 16035; C.I. food red 17

Physical data Dark red powder solubility at 25°C; water 22.5%; 50% alcohol, 13%; low solubility in glycerol and polyethyleneglycol

Uses Maraschino cherries, gelatin desserts, ice cream and frozen desserts, beverages, dry powdered drinks, candy and confectionery products that are oil and fat free, bakery products, cereals, and puddings

CAS = chemical abstracts registry number; FD&C = certifiable colorants permitted for use for foods, drugs, and cosmetics.

Source: Adapted from JECFA (1992; 2000).23-24

After the natural colorant caramel, the most widely used food pigments are of the organic synthetic colorant group. Some synthetic colors are used as additives in foods. As previously mentioned, these colors must be certified under the evaluation of the FDA in the United States. The manufacture of certified colorants involves the production of several compounds with different chemical characteristics, which can be classified as follows:10,20

1. Azo dyes: Allura red (E129), sunset yellow (E110) and tartrazine (E102)

2. Triarylmethane dyes: Brilliant blue (E133) and fast green

3. Indigoid dyes: Indigotine (E132)

4. Arylmethane dyes

5. Xanthene dyes: Erythrosine (E127)

6. Quinoline dyes

7. Anthraquinones

8. Phenols

Some of these pigments (1 to 3 and 5) are approved as FD&C colorants and are analyzed below.

Allura red (E129) is a monoazo compound and its properties are shown in Table 5.4.23,24

Azo colorants are widely used in the textile, printing, and food-processing industries. They are also used in laboratories.25 The chemical synthesis of all of the azoic colorants involves two fundamental reactions:


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