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E155 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 name for E155 is Brown HT.

E155 is a chocolate-coloured azo dye, that is highly soluble in water. It acts as an alternative colouring to that provided by cocoa or caramel.

E155 may exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and cause adverse effects in those allergic to aspirin (see also aspirin in the news), as well as irritation to the skin. Individuals with intolerance to salicylates may also find that they are intolerant to E155, due to the colouring being an azo dye.

E155 is banned in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Austria and the United States.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E155:

  • chocolate cake mixes
  • biscuits

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