Brown HT


INS No. 155
E 155
CAS No. 4553-89-3
CI Food Brown 3
Chocolate Brown HT

Physical Description

Brown HT is a bis-azo dye that occurs as a brown powder or granules. It is principally the disodium salt of 4,4′-(2,4-dihydroxy-5-hydroxymethyl-1,3-phenylene-bisazo) di-1-naphthalene-sulfonate and subsidiary coloring matters 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 confectionery, bakery, dairy fats and oil, meat, seafood, snacks, dry mixes and seasonings, fruit preparation, convenient food, and flavors.


Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Brown HT (INS No. 155) 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 4 food categories for which MPLs for brown HT have been adopted in the General Standard of Food Additives. Other applications of brown HT as a color additive in foods and beverages have been proposed and are pending adoption.

Regulatory Approvals

JECFA: ADI of 0-1.5 mg/kg bw (28th meeting, 1984)

EU: ADI of 1.5 mg Brown HT/kg bw/day (2010); Brown HT is also authorized for use in specific foods and beverages with MPLs in Europe.

Safety Reviews

JECFA, 1984. Toxicological evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants (28th Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO Food Additives Series No. 19, 1984. Available online

EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources (ANS); Scientific Opinion on the reevaluation of Brown HT (E 155) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(3):1536. [32 pp.]. Available online