E124

Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time Food Additives, Nutrients, and Supplements A to Z

E124 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a synthetic colouring agent in food and drink products.

The commons names for E124 are ponceau 4R and cochineal red A.

E124 is a synthetic coal tar and azo dye that turns food products bright red. It is highly soluble in water.

E124 is believed by some to worsen asthma, cause allergic reactions (especially in those allergic to aspirin), and possibly also act as a carcinogen in animals.

E124 is banned in the US and Norway.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E124:

  • salami
  • tinned fruits
  • dessert mixes
  • soups

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