What is Allura Red AC, and where is it used?
Allura Red AC, also known as Red 40 or E129, is a synthetic food colourant commonly applied in the form of a dark red powder to provide a bright red hue to various food and beverage products [1-2]. It is derived from petroleum sources and belongs to the class of azo dyes.
Allura Red AC is extensively used in the food industry to colour a range of products including candies, gelatin-based desserts, beverages, processed foods, and cosmetics . Its intense red colour, solubility, and stability to heat and light, make it a popular choice for manufacturers aiming to enhance the visual appeal of their products.
Purported Health Benefits Allura Red AC is primarily used as a food colourant for its vibrant red hue and does not possess conclusive inherent health benefits.
Recommendations for Safe Consumption
Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Allura Red AC, resulting in symptoms such as hives, itching, or respiratory issues . It is particularly important for individuals with known sensitivities or allergies to azo dyes to exercise caution when consuming products containing Allura Red AC.
Hyperactivity in Children: Research studies have explored a potential link between high consumption of Allura Red AC and hyperactivity in children . However, the evidence is limited and further research is needed to establish a definitive connection. Regulatory bodies, such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have set guidelines and maximum permitted levels to ensure safe consumption in children.
Regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have established guidelines and maximum permitted levels for the use of Allura Red AC in food and beverages [4-5]. These regulations ensure that the consumption of Allura Red AC remains within safe limits.
Food manufacturers are required to mention the presence of Allura Red AC on product labels. This allows consumers to make informed choices and be aware of the dye's presence in the food they consume.
Rovina K, Siddiquee S, Shaarani SM. Extraction, analytical and advanced methods for detection of allura red AC (E129) in food and beverages products. Frontiers in microbiology. 2016 May 27;7:798.
PubChem. Allura Red AC [Internet]. Nih.gov. PubChem; 2019. Available from: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Allura-Red-AC
Arocas A, Varela P, González-Miret ML, Salvador A, Heredia FJ, Fiszman SM. Differences in colour gamut obtained with three synthetic red food colourants compared with three natural ones: pH and heat stability. International Journal of Food Properties. 2013 May 19;16(4):766-77.
EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food. Scientific Opinion on the re‐evaluation of Allura Red AC (E 129) as a food additive. EFSA Journal. 2009 Nov;7(11):1327.
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) - Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks [Internet]. Available from: https://cspinet.org/resource/food-dyes-rainbow-risks
We do our best to source robust information from a number of credible sources. There is, however, a large amount of information on various aspects of nutritional elements along with claims in terms of their contribution to helping in body health which may contradict the above.