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

There are a series of E150 food additives approved by the European Union (EU). These are used as synthetic colouring agents in food and drink products.

The common names for E150 are:

  • 150(a) - Plain Caramel
  • 150(b) - Caustic Sulphite Caramel
  • 150(c) - Ammonia Caramel
  • 150(d) - Sulphite Ammonia Caramel

The E150s give a dark brown colour to food and are produced by heat treatment of sucrose. These colourings can sometimes add a bitter taste to food products containing them. E150 can also act as an emulsifier in soft drinks.

There have been some reported concerns associating hyperactivity in children with these food colourings, though we couldn't find detailed evidence for this. E150(c) and E150(d) have been known to cause intestinal problems if large quantities are consumed.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include the E150s:

  • soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • fruit sauce
  • biscuits
  • crisps
  • doughnuts
  • pickles
  • whisky
  • carbonated soft drinks
  • beer

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