INS No. 140
E 140(i)
Magnesium Chlorophyll
Magnesium Phaeophytin
CI Natural Green 3

Physical Description

Chlorophylls are obtained by solvent extraction of grass, lucerne, nettle and other plant material. The principal coloring matters are the phaeophytins and magnesium chlorophylls; the extracted product, from which the solvent has been removed, contains other pigments such as carotenoids as well as oils, fats and waxes derived from the source material.

Common Uses

Typical applications for chlorophylls include confectionery, desserts, beverages, dairy products, ice cream, fruit preparation, bakery products, soups, sauces, snack food, seasonings, and convenience food.


Commission Regulation (EU) No 23/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Chlorophylls (INS No. 140) are a food additive that is included in Table 3 of the General Standard of 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: An ADI ‘not limited’ was established for chlorophylls at the 13th JECFA (13th Report, 1969).

EU: No ADI was derived, but at reported use levels, chlorophylls are not of safety concern as regards their current use as food additives (EFSA, 2015). EFSA has authorized Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins (E 140) as food additives in the European Union (EU) in specific food and beverage categories at quantum satis, in accordance with Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008.

Safety Reviews

JECFA (1970) Toxicological evaluation of some food colors, emulsifiers, stabilizers, anticaking agents and certain other substances. 30th Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series No. 46A. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of chlorophylls (E 140(i)) as food additives. EFSA Journal 2015;13(5):4089, 56 pp. Available online