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Allura Red AC | E129 | FD&C Red no.40

Allura Red AC (E129) is an artificial red azo dye that goes by several names including: Allura Red, Food Red 17, CI 16035, FD&C Red no.40, 2-naphthalenesulfonic acid. It is used as a food color. Allura Red AC was originally introduced in the United States as a replacement for the use of amaranth as a food coloring.

Chemical Structure and Properties

The more chemical names for Allura Red AC is 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-, disodium salt or disodium 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-2-naphthalene-sulfonate.

Allura Red AC is a dark red powder. It usually comes as a sodium salt but can also be used as both calcium and potassium salts.

Allura Red AC is soluble in water. In a water solution, the maximum absorbance iss at about 504 nm.

The melting point of FD&C Red no.40 is at >300 °C (572 °F; 573.1 K).


Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in 1980 and the EU Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) in 1984 and 1989, both committees have established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 0-7 mg/kg body weight (bw)/day.  The EFSA has not modified the ADI in 2009. Click here for scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of Allura Red AC (E 129) as a food additive.

The FDA requires certification for the color FD&C Red no.40. Click here for more information on certification and here for companies requesting color certification within the last two years.



Click here to find suppliers of Allura Red AC.

To read more about Allura Red AC: wikipedia


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