160e b-apo-8’-Carotenal

Posted 21 Oct 2023
160e b-apo-8’-Carotenal

What is b-apo-8’-Carotenal, and where is it used? b-apo-8’-Carotenal, also known as C30H40O, is a food preservative and colourant widely used in the food industry [1,2]. It belongs to the class of carotenoids, which are natural pigments found in plants and algae. This food additive is classified under the code E160e and is approved for the below uses:

  • b-apo-8’-Carotenal effectively inhibits the growth of microorganisms, preventing spoilage and maintaining the quality and safety of processed foods such as beverages and confectionery [3].

  • b-apo-8’-Carotenal serves as a food colourant, imparting vibrant hues to a wide range of food products [1,2]. It is particularly valued for its ability to provide shades of orange and yellow, making it a popular choice in the production of foods such as dairy products.

It is important to note that b-apo-8’-Carotenal is a synthetic food additive derived from natural sources, including fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids. Its synthetic production allows for consistent quality, purity, and desired colour intensity in food applications [2].

Purported Health Implications

There is limited information available regarding specific health benefits associated with consuming b-apo-8’-Carotenal itself. It is important to note that E160e is primarily used as a food preservative and colourant rather than for its potential health benefits. However, carotenoids, the class of compounds to which b-apo-8’-Carotenal belongs, have been researched for their potential health-promoting properties. Here are some general benefits associated with carotenoid consumption:

  • Antioxidant properties: Carotenoids act as antioxidants, protecting cells from free radicals and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases [4,5].

  • Cardiovascular health: Some carotenoids, such as lycopene and beta-carotene, might lower the risk of heart disease and improve lipid profiles [4-6].

  • Eye health: Certain carotenoids, like beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, may support eye health and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts [5,6].

  • Skin health: Carotenoids contribute to vibrant colours in fruits and vegetables and may help protect the skin from sun damage and promote a healthy complexion [6,7].

  • Immune system support: Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, can enhance immune cell function and overall immune health [8].

It's important to note that the health benefits associated with carotenoids are typically attributed to a varied and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables rather than isolated compounds such as b-apo-8’-Carotenal. The consumption of whole foods that naturally contain carotenoids is generally recommended for obtaining these health benefits.

Recommendations for Safe Consumption

  • Safety evaluations conducted by regulatory authorities, such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have concluded that b-apo-8’-Carotenal is safe for consumption within specified limits [9-11]. The levels of this food additive found in food products are not expected to pose significant health risks to the general population.

  • Permitted Levels: Food manufacturers must adhere to specific guidelines and maximum permitted levels set by regulatory agencies to guarantee the safe consumption of b-apo-8’-Carotenal. 

  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, allergic reactions to carotenoids, including b-apo-8’-Carotenal, can occur. If you experience any adverse reactions after consuming food products containing this additive, it is recommended to seek medical advice and avoid further consumption.


  1. Scotter MJ, Castle L, Croucher JM, Olivier L. Method development and analysis of retail foods and beverages for carotenoid food colouring materials E160a (ii) and E160e. Food Additives & Contaminants. 2003 Feb 1;20(2):115-26.

  2. Parkinson TM, Brown JP. Metabolic fate of food colorants. Annual Review of Nutrition. 1981 Jul;1(1):175-205.

  3. Hammond DA. Analysis of soft drinks and fruit juices. Chemistry and Technology of Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices. 2016 Feb 26:231-89.

  4. Stahl W, Sies H. Antioxidant activity of carotenoids. Molecular aspects of medicine. 2003 Dec 1;24(6):345-51.

  5. Eggersdorfer M, Wyss A. Carotenoids in human nutrition and health. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics. 2018 Aug 15;652:18-26.

  6. Eckl PM, Alija A, Bresgen N, Bojaxhi E, Vogl C, Martano G, Stutz H, Knasmüller S, Ferk F, Siems WG, Langhans CD. Carotenoids and Mutagenesis. CRC Press; 2013 Apr 24.

  7. Darvin ME, Sterry W, Lademann J, Vergou T. The role of carotenoids in human skin. Molecules. 2011 Dec 16;16(12):10491-506.

  8. Wang XD, Russell RM. Procarcinogenic and anticarcinogenic effects of β-carotene. Nutrition reviews. 1999 Sep 1;57(9):263-72.

  9. Food additives -alphabetical list Food additives -alphabetical list [Internet]. 2019. Available from: https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/additiveoverview/Documents/Food%20additives%20-%20alphabetical%20May%202019.pdf

  10. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of β-apo-8’-carotenal (E 160e) as a food additive | EFSA [Internet]. www.efsa.europa.eu. 2012 [cited 2023 Oct 13]. Available from: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2499

  11. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 [Internet]. www.accessdata.fda.gov. [cited 2023 Oct 13]. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=73.90


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.