Chlorophylls & Chlorophyllins, copper complexes



Chlorophylls, copper complexes:
-INS No. 141(i)
-E 141(i)
–CI Natural Green 3
-CI No 75810
-Copper Chlorophyll
-Copper Phaeophytin

Chlorophyllins, copper complexes sodium and potassium salts:
-INS No. 141(ii)
-Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin
-Copper complexes of chlorophyllins
-Potassium Copper Chlorophyllin
-CI Natural Green 5
-CI No 75815

Physical Description

Chlorophyll is an oil soluble pigment obtained from Lucerne, Nettle, Spinach and Grass, providing an olive-green color. The addition of Copper results in Copper Chlorophyllin. The water-soluble form, Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin, is obtained by the saponification of oil soluble forms. The Copper Chlorophyllin pigment gives bright green and is very stable against light and heat.

Common Uses

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


US FDA (Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin)


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

Codex Provisions

Chlorophophylls and Chlorophyllins, copper complexes are 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

JECFA: ADI of 0-15 mg/kg bw for chlorophylls, copper complexes (13th Report, 1969) and chlorophyllins, copper complexes sodium and potassium salts (22nd Report, 1978)

USA: Sodium copper chlorophyllin as a color additive exempt from certification and permanently listed for food use in citrus-based dry beverage mixes only: ≤ 0.2 percent by wt. of the dry mix  (21 CFR 73.125).

EU: ADI withdrawn (2015); Cu-chlorophylls and Cu-chlorophyllins are authorized for use at Quantum satis in foods and beverages in Europe.

Safety Reviews

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) (1969) JECFA 13th Report. Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives and Their Toxicological Evaluation. WHO Technical Report Series, No. 445. Available online

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) (1978) JECFA 22nd Report. Evaluation of Certain Food Additives and Contaminants. WHO Technical Report Series, No. 631. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food), 2015. Scientific Opinion on re-evaluation of copper complexes of chlorophylls (E 141(i)) and chlorophyllins (E 141(ii)) as food additives. EFSA Journal 2015;13(6):4151, 60 pp. Available online