INS No. 163(ii); Grape skin extract
INS No. 163(iii); Blackcurrant extract
INS No. 163(iv); Purple corn color
INS No. 163(v); Red cabbage color
INS No. 163 (vi); Black carrot extract
INS No. 163 (vii); Purple sweet potato color
INS No. 163 (viii); Red radish color
INS No. 163(ix); Elderberry color
INS No. 163(x); Hibiscus color
INS No. 163(xi); Butterfly pea flower extract
Grape color extract

Physical Description

Anthocyanins are obtained by maceration or extraction with sulphited water, acidified water, carbon dioxide, methanol or ethanol from the strains of vegetables and edible fruits, with subsequent concentration and/or purification if necessary. Anthocyanins contain common components of the source material, namely anthocyanine, organic acids, tannins, sugars, minerals etc., but not necessarily in the same proportions as found in the source material.

Blackcurrant extract is obtained from blackcurrant pomace by aqueous extraction. The main coloring principles are four anthocyanins (cyanidin 3-rutinoside, delphinidin 3-rutinoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, delphinidin 3-glucoside). Grape skin extract occurs as a red to purple powder or liquid concentrate. It is prepared by aqueous extraction of grape marc remaining from the pressing of grapes to obtain juice. The color additive grape color extract is an aqueous solution of anthocyanin grape pigments made from Concord grapes or a dehydrated water soluble powder prepared from the aqueous solution. Butterfly pea flower extract is a dark blue liquid prepared by the aqueous extraction of dried butterfly pea flowers from Clitoria ternatea and contains anthocyanins as the principal coloring component.

Common Uses

Anthocyanins are used to color beverages, confectionary, desserts, ice cream, fruit preparations, bakers jam and non-standard jellies and preserves, sherbets, ices, pops, raspberry, yogurt, gelatin desserts, candy, and bakery fillings and toppings.




Commission Regulation (EU) No 23/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Grape Skin Extract (INS No 163(ii)) is added to foods and beverages at concentrations up to a maximum permitted level (MPL) as adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. There are more than 60 food categories for which MPLs for grape skin extract have been adopted in the General Standard of Food Additives (GSFA).

Regulatory Approvals

JECFA: ADI of 0-2.5 mg/kg bw for grape skin extract (26th meeting, 1982). Owing to the lack of toxicological data on black carrot extract, the Committee was not able to draw conclusions on safety of black carrot extract (87th meeting, 2019)

USA: Grape color extract is exempt from certification and may be safely used for the coloring of nonbeverage food (21 CFR 73.169). Grape skin extract (enocianina) is exempt from certification and may be safely used for the coloring of still and carbonated drinks and ades, beverage bases, and alcoholic beverages (in accordance with Parts 4 & 5 of 27 CFR) (21 CFR 73.170). Butterfly pea flower extract is exempt from certification and may be safety used for coloring alcoholic beverages, sport and energy drinks, flavored or carbonated water, fruit drinks (including smoothies and grain drinks), carbonated soft drinks (fruit-flavored or juice, ginger ale, and root beer), fruit and vegetable juice, nutritional beverages, chewing gum, teas, coated nuts, liquid coffee creamers (dairy and non-dairy), ice cream and frozen dairy desserts, hard candy, dairy and non-dairy drinks, fruit preparations in yogurts, and soft candy in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice (21 CFR 73.69).

EU: ADI not established (EFSA, 2013). Specific food and beverage categories where use is authorized at quantum satis have been defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1129/2011.


Safety Reviews

Safety evaluation of certain food additives (Eighty-seventh meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO Food additives series No. 78, 2020. Available online

Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants (Twenty-sixth Report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO Technical Report Series No. 683, 1982. Available online

Listing of Color Additives Exempt From Certification; Butterfly Pea Flower Extract. 86 FR 49230 (Sep 2, 2021). Available online

EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS); Scientific Opinion on the reevaluation of anthocyanins (E 163) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2013;11(4):3145. [51 pp.] doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3145. Available online