INS No. 160e
E 160e
CAS No. 1107-26-2
CI Food Orange 6
CI No. 40820
Beta-apo-8’-carotenal (C30)

Physical Description

β-Apo-8′-carotenal is an aldehydic carotenoid that is widely distributed in nature. It consists of deep violet crystals with metallic luster or crystalline powder, and can be isolated from spinach, oranges, grass, tangerines, and marigolds.

Common Uses

β-apo-8′-carotenal can be used to color confectionery, bakery products, snack food, juices, fruit drinks, soups, jams, jellies, gelatins, processed cheese, margarine, salad dressings, fats and oils.


EU defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 23/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

β-apo-8′-carotenal (INS No 160e) is added to foods and beverages at concentrations up to a maximum permitted level (MPL) as established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and published in the General Standard of Food Additives (GSFA).

Regulatory Approvals

USA: Beta-Apo-8′-carotenal is exempt from certification and may be safely used for coloring foods generally, such that the quantity does not exceed 15 mg per pound of solid or semisolid food or per pint of liquid food (21 CFR 73.90).

JECFA: An ADI of 0-0.3 mg/kg bw was prepared at the 87th JECFA (2019)

EU: ADI of 0.05 mg/kg bw/day(EFSA, 2012). EFSA has also established MPLs for use in specific foods and beverages in Europe.

Safety Assessment

No relevant genotoxicity data were identified. Ethyl and methyl β-apo-8′-carotenate, free and esterified vitamin A, and vitamin A alcohol were identified as metabolites of β-apo-8′-carotenal.  The low acute oral toxicity of β-apo-8’-carotenal is demonstrated by a mouse LD50 that exceeds 10 g/kg bw. Apart from the pigment deposition in the liver and kidneys, no adverse effects occurred in rats fed up to 500 mg/kg bw/day β-apo-8′-carotenal for 34 weeks. No adverse effects were reported in a summary of multigeneration studies where rats were fed 250 mg/kg bw/day of β-apo-8’-carotenal or 500 mg/kg bw/day of its methyl ester. The fertility of rats fed 500 mg/kg bw/day of β-apo-8’-carotenal or its ethyl ester was also unaffected.

Safety Reviews

Evaluation of certain food additives (Eighty-seventh report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO Technical Report Series, No. 1020, 2019. Available online

JECFA (1974). Toxicological evaluation of some food colors, enzymes, flavor enhancers, thickening agents and certain food additives. FAO Nutr. Mtgs. Ser. No. 54; WHO Tech. Rept. Ser. No. 557. Eighteenth meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Available online

Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants: 74th report of the JECFA. WHO Technical Report Series No. 966. Available online

EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS); Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of β-apo-8’-carotenal (E 160e) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2012;10(3):2499. [46 pp.] Available online