Beet Red


INS No. 162
Beet powder (dehydrated beets)
E162; betanin
Beetroot red

Physical Description

Beet red is the color obtained from the roots of red beets (Beta vulgaris L var rubra), as press juice or by aqueous extraction of shredded beet roots; composed of different pigments all belonging to the class betalaine; main coloring principle consists of betacyanins (red) of which betanine accounts for 75-95%; minor amounts of betaxanthine (yellow) and degradation products of betalaines (light brown) may be present. Besides the color pigments the juice or extract consists of sugars, salts and/or proteins naturally occurring in red beets.

Dehydrated beets is a dark red powder prepared by dehydrating sound, mature, good quality, edible beets.

Common Uses

Beet red can be used to color hard candies, yogurt, ice creams and frozen desserts, salad dressings, ready-made frostings, cake mixes, meat and meat substitutes, powdered drink mixes, gravy mixes, biscuit filling, marshmallow candies, fruit preparations, convenience foods, soft drinks, and gelatin desserts.


Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Beet red (INS No. 162) is a food additive that is included in Table 3 of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA), and as such may be used in specified foods under the conditions of good manufacturing practices (GMP) as outlined in the Preamble of the Codex GSFA.

Regulatory Approvals

JECFA: ADI ‘not specified’ (31st meeting,1987).

USA: Beet powder (Dehydrated beets) is a color additive exempt from certification and permanently listed for food use in amounts consistent with GMP (21 CFR 73.40). Additionally, vegetable juice may be safely used for the coloring of foods generally, in amounts consistent with GMP (21 CFR 73.260)

EC: EFSA has concluded that beetroot red is not of safety concern as regards its current use as a food additive (EFSA, 2015). EFSA has also authorized use in specific foods and beverages at quantum satis

Safety Reviews

Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants (Thirty-first report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO Technical Report Series No. 759, 1987. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of beetroot red (E 162) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2015;13(12):4318, 55pp. Available online