INS No. 122
E 122
EINECS No. 222-657-4
CAS No. 3567-69-9
CI Food Red 3
CI No. 14720
CI Acid Red 14

Physical Description

Azorubine is a red dye that offers a red to maroon shade in applications. It consists essentially of disodium 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. Azorubine is soluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol.

Common Uses

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


EU Defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

The Codex Alimentarius Commission has finalized authorization of Azorubine (INS No. 122) use in 7 food categories, including soups and broths, flavored fluid milk drinks, chewing gum, decorations, toppings (non-fruit) and sweet sauces, hard candy, nougats and marzipans, and soft candy, as noted 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 authorization, following completion of the review and comments process.

Regulatory Approvals

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.

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

Safety Reviews

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

JECFA (1983) Evaluation of Certain Food Additives and Contaminants (Twenty-seventh Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives). WHO Technical Report Series, 696. Available online