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Carmoisine or Azorubine is a synthetic red food dye from the azo dye group. It is a red to maroon powder. It is used for the purposes where the food is heat-treated after fermentation. It has E number E122. Some of the foods it can be present in are blancmange, marzipan, Swiss roll, jams, preserves, yoghurts, jellies, breadcrumbs, and cheesecake mixes. It is also present in Oraldene Mouthwash. Azorubine is commonly used in the UK, but it is a prohibited food additive in Japan, Norway, and the United States. A study commissioned by the UK's Food Standards Agency found that when used in a mixture of other preservatives, increased levels of hyperactivity in children were observed.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC):
disodium (E)-4-hydroxy-3-((4-sulfonatonaphthalen-1-yl)diazenyl)naphthalene-1-sulfonate.

Picture of Carmoisine
Picture of Carmoisine

Why Carmoisine Can be Dangerous for Human Health?

Carmosine is a synthetic dyes.The process of making synthetic dyes usually via treatment of sulfuric acid or nitric acid that is often contaminated by arsenic or other heavy metals that are toxic. In the manufacture of organic dyes before reaching the final product, must go through an intermediary compound in advance that is sometimes dangerous and often left behind in the final result, or form new compounds are hazardous. For substances that are considered safe dye was determined that arsenic should not be more than 0.00014% and the lead should not exceed 0.001%, while other heavy metals should not be there.

Side Effects of Carmoisine in Food Product

Carmoisine, an food additive that gives red color to foods that cause taste in food. Carmoisine also be used for coloring drinks. If we consume foods that contain excessive carmoisine, it will cause allergic skin and awaken the body's cancer cells. Carmoisine have gotten permission in its use, so many products that use these additives. Some foods and drinks that use carmoisine often we find.

Product sample that contain carmoisine:


Reaction from public

Many lay people do not know what additives are in the foods they eat (e.g. carmoisine), they only know that they eat and drink comfortably without knowing the content of what is in food and drink. Only a small percentage of people who know what it is carmoisine. Carmoisine is coloring foods and beverages that provide a fresh red color to foods and drinks, many foods containing these dyes. This food additive substances already obtained licenses in use, but should not be consumed excessively, because it may cause allergic skin and activate the cancer cells in the body. After people know what it is carmoisine and effect given, people should eat less of foods containing these additives to maintain health (limiting its use).

Awareness of the impact of a given carmoisine

Public awareness of the effects of synthetic dyes are less, they do not realize that synthetic dyes can be harmful, for example carmoisine. People do not really know what it is carmoisine and danger is given, only a few people who know carmoisine. Until now, many people are abusing the use of dyes. This is because the lack of public knowledge about the dye may be used for food and dye what should not be used for food, or because there is no explanation in the label which forbids use of some dyes (eg textile dyes) for food, or due to textile dyes are much cheaper than food dyes. For example, many people who use textile dyes for food, they do this because textile dyes are much cheaper than food dyes. Things like this that could endanger public health. For that, it requires attention from the government.

To avoid the effects of carmoisine or other dyes, the FAO / WHO Expert Committee has set a limit on daily consumption of dyes, is known as ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake).

A limitation on use based on risk is the ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) of restriction that does not present a risk / hazard if consumed by humans.

Addictive Substance
Limits PERMENKES RI per kg food
Limitation of ADI per kg Body Weight
100 mg-1000 mg
0 – 0,3 mg
100 mg-1000 mg
0 – 0,125 mg
Acetic Acid
to taste
There is no limit
Citric Acid
5 g – 40 g
There is no limit
50 mg – 300 mg
500 mg – 3 g
Benzoic Acid
600 mg – 1 g
0,5 mg
Sorbic acid
500 mg – 3 g
0, 25 mg
Beta carotene
100 mg – 600 mg
150 mg – 300 mg
There is no limit
30 mg-300 mg
0-7,5 mg
50 mg-300 mg
0 -4 mg
30 mg- 300 mg
0-0,6 mg
to taste
0-120 mg