Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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E 123; Naphthol Red

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Dark red to reddish brown synthetic azo dye which is readily soluble in water and sparingly soluble in ethanol.

General information
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Amaranth is used as a food colour (E 123), for example for aperitif wines and spirits. It is suspected that amaranth like azorubine can cause pseudoallergic skin(urticaria) and lung reactions(bronchial asthma). However, this is also doubted. Hematological effects of amaranth administration have been observed in animal experiments.

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  1. Hashem MM et al (2010) Immunological studies on Amaranth, Sunset Yellow and Curcumin as food colouring agents in albino rats. Food Chem Toxicol 48:1581-1586.
  2. Reus KE et al (2000) Food additives as a cause of medical symptoms: relationship shown between sulfites and asthma and anaphylaxis; results of a literature review. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 144:1836-1839.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020