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Amaranth (dye)

Amaranth (dye)
IUPAC name trisodium (4E)-3-oxo-4-[(4-
Other names FD&C Red No. 2,
C.I. Food Red 9,
Acid Red 27,
Azorubin S,
C.I. 16185
CAS number 915-67-3
PubChem 6093196
SMILES C1=CC=C2C(=C1)C(=CC=C2S(=O)(=O)[O-
Molecular formula C20H11N2Na3O10S3
Molar mass 604.47305
Appearance Dark red solid
Melting point

120 °C (decomposes)

R-phrases R36/37/38
S-phrases S36/37/39
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Amaranth, FD&C Red No. 2, E123, C.I. Food Red 9, Acid Red 27, Azorubin S, or C.I. 16185, is a dark red to purple azo dye once used as a food dye and to color cosmetics, but since 1976 it has been banned in the United States by FDA as it is a suspected carcinogen. [1] It usually comes as a trisodium salt. It has the appearance of reddish-brown, dark red to purple water-soluble powder that decomposes at 120 °C without melting. Its water solution has absorption maximum at about 520 nm. Amaranth is made from coal tar.

Amaranth is an anionic dye. It can be applied to natural and synthetic fibers, leather, paper, and phenol-formaldehyde resins.

As a food additive it has E number E123.


In 1969, Soviet scientists discovered that long-term usage of Red Dye #2, even at the low dosages found in foods, caused cancer in test animals. The FDA conducted its own tests, following the Soviet guidelines, with the results being inconclusive. The FDA banned FD&C Red No. 2 in 1976. FD&C Red No. 3 (erythrosine), and FD&C Red No. 40 (Allura Red AC) replaced the decertified color.


  1. ^ "The following color additives are not authorized for use in food products in the United States: (1) Amaranth (C.I. 16185, EEC No. E123, formerly certifiable as FD&C red No. 2);" FDA/CFSAN Food Compliance Program: Domestic Food Safety Program

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Amaranth_(dye)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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