Brilliant Blue FCF


INS No. 133
Brilliant blue FCF
FD&C Blue No. 1
CAS 3844-45-9
CI Food Blue 2

Physical Description

Brilliant blue occurs as a dark purple to bronze powder or granules. It is a triphenylmethane dye, and is principally the disodium salt of ethyl [4-p– [ethyl(m-sulfobenzyl)amino] -α−(o-sulfophenyl)benzylidene]-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-ylidene] (m-sulfobenzyl)ammonium hydroxide inner salt and may be converted to the corresponding aluminum lake.

Common Uses

Brilliant blue can be used in cosmetics, ingested drugs, and foods, including dietary supplements, breakfast cereals, cakes and cupcakes, candies, chewing gum, dairy products, decorations for baking, flavored water and frozen treats.




Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Brilliant blue FCF (INS No. 133) 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 50 food categories for which MPLs for brilliant blue have been adopted in the General Standard of Food Additives.

Regulatory Approvals

JECFA: ADI of 0-6 mg/kg bw (84th meeting; 2017)

USA: FD&C Blue No. 1, along with its aluminum lake (21 CFR 82.101), are subject to certification and may be safely used for coloring foods (including dietary supplements) generally (21 CFR 74.101),  drugs (21 CFR 74.1101) and cosmetics generally (21 CFR 74.2101), in amounts consistent with GMP

EU: ADI of 0-6 mg/kg body weight (EFSA, 2010); EFSA has also established MPLs for use of Brilliant Blue FCF in foods and beverages in Europe

Safety Reviews

Safety evaluation of certain food additives (Eighty-fourth meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO food additives series no. 75, 2019. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (2010) Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of Brilliant Blue (E 133) as a food additive. EFSA Journal, 8(11), 1853 [36 pp]. Available online