3D model (JSmol)
|E number||E127 (colours)|
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||879.86 g/mol|
|Melting point||142 to 144 °C (288 to 291 °F; 415 to 417 K)|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
Erythrosine, also known as Red No. 3, is an organoiodine compound, specifically a derivative of fluorone. It is a pink dye which is primarily used for food coloring. It is the disodium salt of 2,4,5,7-tetraiodofluorescein. Its maximum absorbance is at 530 nm in an aqueous solution, and it is subject to photodegradation.
It is used as a:
- food coloring
- printing ink
- biological stain
- dental plaque disclosing agent
- radiopaque medium
- sensitizer for orthochromatic photographic films
- Visible light photoredox catalyst
Erythrosine is commonly used in sweets such as some candies and popsicles, and even more widely used in cake-decorating gels. It is also used to color pistachio shells. As a food additive, it has the E number E127.
As a result of efforts begun in the 1970s, in 1990 the U.S. FDA had instituted a partial ban on erythrosine, citing research that high doses have been found to cause cancer in rats. A 1990 study concluded that "chronic erythrosine ingestion may promote thyroid tumor formation in rats via chronic stimulation of the thyroid by TSH." with 4% of total daily dietary intake consisting of erythrosine B. A series of toxicology tests combined with a review of other reported studies concluded that erythrosine is non-genotoxic and any increase in tumors is caused by a non-genotoxic mechanism.
Regulation and prevalence
While erythrosine is commonly used in many countries of the world, it is less commonly used in the United States (the second least used after Fast Green FCF) because Allura Red AC (Red #40) is generally used instead. However, Allura Red AC is banned in many European countries because it is an azo dye. Erythrosine can be used in colored food and ingested drugs in the USA without any restriction, however, its use is banned in cosmetics and external drugs. The lake variant is also banned from use in the United States.
Erythrosine B; Erythrosin B; Acid Red 51; C.I. 45430; FD & C Red No.3; E127; 2',4',5',7'-Tetraiodo-3',6'-dihydroxy-spiro[3H-isobenzofuran-1,9'-xanthen]-3-one disodium salt; Tetraiodofluorescein Sodium Salt; Calcoid Erythrosine N; 2,4,5,7-Tetraiodo-3,6-dihydroxyxanthene-9-spiro-1'-3H-isobenzofuran-3'-one disodium salt; 2',4',5',7'-Tetraiodofluorescein, disodium salt; C.I.Food Red 14; Aizen Erythrosine; Tetraiodifluorescein, disodium salt; Spiro[isobenzofuran- 1(3H),9'-[9H]xanthen]-3-one, 3',6'-dihydroxy-2',4',5',7'-tetraiodo-, disodium salt.
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
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