INS No. 122
E 122
CAS No. 3567-69-9
CI Food Red 3

Physical Description

Azorubine is a monoazo dye that occurs as red powder or granules. It is principally the disodium salt of 4-hydroxy-3-(4-sulfonato-1-naphthylazo)- 1-naphthalenesulfonate and subsidiary coloring matters together with sodium chloride and/or sodium sulfate as the principal uncolored components. It may be converted to the corresponding aluminum lake.

Common Uses

Typical applications include beverages, confectionery, bakery, dairy fats and oil, meat, seafood, snacks, dry mixes and seasonings, fruit preparation, convenient food, and pharmaceuticals.



Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Azorubine (INS No. 122) is added to foods and beverages at concentrations up to a maximum permitted level (MPL) as established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. There are currently 7 food categories for which MPLs for azorubine have been adopted in the General Standard of Food Additives. Many other applications of azorubine (carmoisine) as a color additive in foods and beverages have been proposed and are pending adoption, following completion of the review and comments process.

Regulatory Approvals

JECFA: ADI of 0-4 mg/kg bow (27th report, 1983)

EU: ADI of 0-4 mg/kg body weight (EFSA, 2009). EFSA has also established Maximum Permitted Levels of use of Azorubine/Carmoisine in beverages and food stuffs according to Council Directive 94/36/EC.

Safety Reviews

Evaluation of Certain Food Additives and Contaminants (Twenty-seventh Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives). WHO Technical Report Series No. 696, 1983. Available online

EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS); Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of Azorubine/Carmoisine (E 122) as a food additive on request the European Commission. EFSA Journal 2009; 7(11):1332. [40 pp.]. Available online