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Brilliant Blue FCF

"Blue 1" redirects here. For the airline, see Blue1.

  Brilliant Blue FCF (also known as FD&C Blue No.1, Food Blue 2, Acid Blue 9, D&C Blue No. 4, Alzen Food Blue No. 1, Alphazurine, Atracid Blue FG, Erioglaucine, Eriosky blue, Patent Blue AR, Xylene Blue VSG, and C.I. 42090) is a colorant that may be added to foods and other substances to induce a color change. It is denoted by E Number E133. It has the appearance of a reddish-blue powder. It is soluble in water; solution has maximum absorption at about 630 nm.

It is a synthetic dye derived from coal tar. It can be combined with tartrazine (E102) to produce various shades of green. It is often found in ice cream, tinned processed peas, dairy products, sweets, and drinks. It is also used in soaps, shampoos, and other hygiene and cosmetics applications. In soil science, Brilliant Blue is applied in tracing studies to visualize infiltration and water distribution in the soil.

It has previously been banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland among others but has been certified as a safe food additive in the EU and is today unbanned in most of the countries. In the United States production exceeds 1 million pounds annually, and daily consumption is around 16 mg per person.

It has the capacity for inducing an allergic reaction[citation needed].

It is one of the colorants that the Hyperactive Children's Support Group and the Feingold Association recommends to be eliminated from the diet of children. The National Institutes of Health concluded that color additives do not cause hyperactivity.[1]

Its CAS number is [3844-45-9] and its SMILES structure is CC\[N+](CC4=CC (S(=O)([O-])=O) =CC=C4)=C(C=C3) /C=C\C3=C(C2=C (S(=O)([O-])=O) C=CC=C2)/C1=C C=C(N(CC)CC5=C C=CC(S(=O)([O-]) =O)=C5)C=C1. It is usually a disodium salt. The diammonium salt has CAS number [2650-18-2]. Calcium and potassium salts are also permitted. It can also appear as an aluminium lake.

The chemical formation is C37H34N2Na2O9S3. The dye is poorly absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract and 95% of the absorbed dye can be found in the faeces.

It is also thought to react with certain bile pigments to form green faeces.


  1. ^ NIH concludes color additives do not cause hyperactivity,
  • W. H. Hansen, O. G. Fitzhugh, A. A. Nelson, K. J. Davis, (1966). "Chronic toxicity of two food colors, Brilliant Blue FCF and Indigotine". Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 8 (1): 29-36. doi:10.1016/0041-008X(66)90097-4.
  • J. F. Borzelleca, K. Depukat, J. B. Hallagan (1990). "Lifetime toxicity/carcinogenicity studies of FD & C blue No. 1 (Brilliant blue FCF) in rats and mice". Food and Chemical Toxicology 28 (4): 221-235. doi:10.1016/0278-6915(90)90034-K.
  • J. P. Brown, A. Dorsky, F. E. Enderlin, R. L. Hale, V. A. Wright, T. M. Parkinson (1980). "Synthesis of 14C-labelled FD & C blue no. 1 (brilliant blue FCF) and its intestinal absorption and metabolic fate in rats". Food and Cosmetics Toxicology 18 (1): 1-5. doi:10.1016/0015-6264(80)90002-4.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brilliant_Blue_FCF". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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