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Ponceau 4R

  Ponceau 4R (also known as Food Red 7, C.I. 16255, Cochineal Red A, New Coccine, Acid Red 18, SX purple) is a synthetic colourant that may be added to foods to induce a colour change. It is denoted by E Number E124, and has the capacity for inducing an allergic reaction. Its chemical name is trisodium salt of 1-(4-sulpho-1-napthylazo)- 2-napthol- 6,8-disulphonic acid.

Ponceau 4R is a red azo dye usually synthesized from coal tar which can be used in a variety of food products.

Since it is an azo dye, it may elicit intolerance in people allergic to salicylates (aspirin). Additionally, it is a histamine liberator, and may intensify symptoms of asthma.

Ponceau 4R is considered carcinogenic in some countries, including the USA, Norway, and Finland, and it is currently listed as a banned substance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [2] Since 2000, the FDA has seized Chinese-produced haw flakes (a fruit candy) on numerous occasions for containing Ponceau 4R.[3]

A study commissioned by the UK's Food Standards Agency found that when used in a mixture of other preservatives, increased levels of hyperactivity in children were observed.[1] [2][3][4][5]


  1. ^ [1]"Myomancy" 7th September 2007
  2. ^ "Artificial food colouring warning", BBC News, May 8, 2007.
  3. ^ Felicity Lawrence, "New fears over additives in children's food", The Guardian, May 8, 2007.
  4. ^ Laura Clout, "Warning over food additives", The Telegraph, May 8, 2007.
  5. ^ Graeme Paton and Adam Stones, "New evidence links E-numbers to hyperactivity", The Telegraph, May 9, 2007.

See also

  • Ponceau family of Azo dyes
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ponceau_4R". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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