E163 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 E163 is the anthocyanins.
E163 is a violet colouring, derived from the cell sap of plants, vegetables and flowers. Anthocyanins are available in various forms, including:
- E163(a) cyanidin, a red colour,
- E163(b) delphinidin, a blue colour, and
- E163(c) malvidin, a purple colour.
E163 is water soluble and may contain sugars and minerals. It has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an antioxidant when in fruits and vegetables. Reports suggest that when comsumed in appropriate quantities, this natural colouring is generally thought to benefit human health.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E163:
- dairy products
- glacé cherries
- soft drinks