E151

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E151 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a synthetic colouring agent in food and drink products.

The common names for E151 are Brilliant Black BN or Black BN.

E151 is a black synthetic coal tar and azo dye, and is highly soluble in water.

Individuals with intolerance to salicylates may find that they are also intolerant to E151, due to the colouring being an azo dye. E151 is also suspected of exacerbating asthma.

E151 has been banned in the United States, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Finland and Norway.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E151:

  • cheese
  • blackcurrant sauce
  • blackcurrant drinks
  • brown sauce
  • wine

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