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E162 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 E162 is beetroot red. It may also be referred to as betanin.

E162 is a red / purple colouring, derived from beetroots. Although widely used, E162 is unstable because it degrades in the presence of light, oxygen and high temperatures.

E162 may contain nitrates and should therefore not be consumed by infants and young children. No other reports of adverse effects were found during our search.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E162:

  • jam
  • jelly
  • sauces
  • soups
  • liquorice
  • ice cream
  • tomato products
  • bacon products

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