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

E161g is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a natural colouring agent in food and drink products.

The common name for E161g is the canthaxanthin.

E161g is a yellow / orange colouring that occurs naturally in various plants and birds. When prepared on a commercial scale, the colouring is derived from mushrooms and flamingo feathers. E161g is a xanthophyll (an oxygenated derivative of carotenes). As well as in food, the colouring is used in self-tanning products.

Some studies have indicated that frequent and prolonged close contact with E161g may cause spots on the retina of the eye due to the formation of crystals. This colouring is also suspected of causing damage to the liver with prolonged ingestion.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E161g:

  • mushrooms
  • fish
  • sweets
  • bread
  • sausages

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