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IUPAC name 2-(6-hydroxy-2,4,5,7-tetraiodo-
3-oxo-xanthen-9-yl)benzoic acid
CAS number
Molecular formula C20H6I4Na2O5
Molar mass 879.86 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Erythrosine (Tetraiodofluorescein) is a cherry-pink coal-based fluorone food dye. Its maximum absorbance is at 530 nm[1] in an aqueous solution, and it is subject to photodegradation[citation needed].


It is listed under the following number systems:

  • FD&C Red No. 3
  • E number E127 (Food Red 14)
  • Color Index no. 45430 (Acid Red 51)
  • Indian Standards No. 1697


It is used as a food dye, in printing inks, as a biological stain, a dental plaque disclosing agent and a radiopaque medium. Although Red #3 has been highly implicated as a carcinogen, it is commonly used in sweets and foods marketed to children such as candies, popsicles, cake frosting,[citation needed] and cake-decorating gel.[2] It is also used in strawberry Slim-Fast and its generic counterpart.[citation needed] McCormick uses it as well in their "Salad Toppins." Because of the well-known hazards of Red #3, Red #40 is much more commonly used by most food manufacturers.[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^ E.g., CakeMate pink, Signature Brands, LLC, Ocala, Florida, USA [Purchased at Harris Teeter grocery, Arlington, Virginia, 4 November 2007]
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Erythrosine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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