This Ingredient Spotlight is a regular feature from Be Food Smart. Check back daily to see the ingredient of the day.
The next time you are tempted to pop a candy cane in your mouth, think again. Red No.40 is the most commonly used artificial red food coloring used in the US today and is banned in many other countries.
Alternate Names: Allura Red AC, FD&C Red. No. 40 Calcium Lake, FD&C Red. No. 40 Aluminum Lake
E Number: E129
Found In: soft drinks, candy, children’s medications, cereal, beverages, snacks, gelatin desserts, baked goods, ice cream
Description: An azo dye produced from petroleum to create shades of red. Also see Food, Drug & Cosmetic Colors (FD&C). One of the newest colors to be permanently listed by the FDA. It is extremely prevalent in foods and is one of the most commonly used of all the food dyes. Due to several studies on children and hyperactivity, the European Union requires food containing this colorant to have a label which states: “may have an adverse effect on activity in children” (see In the News section on full ingredient report). This can be problematic for parents since this food dye is found in thousands of products marketed specifically to children. Red No. 40 is banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Sweden and Switzerland. The safety of this colorant is highly controversial.
Possible Health Effects: Known to cause hyperactivity in children. Some animal studies indicate that chemicals used in the preparation of this colorant are carcinogenic and may cause cancer. Developmental… Read more on Red No. 40
Related Ingredient: Tartrazine
Copyright August 8, 2010 Be Food Smart