Indigo Carmine
INS No. 132
FD&C Blue No. 2
E 132
CI Food Blue 1

Physical Description

Indigotine occurs as a blue-brown to red-brown powder or as granule. It is an indigoid dye, consisting of a mixture of disodium 3,3′-dioxo-[delta2,2′-biindoline]-5,5′-disulfonate (the principal component), disodium 3,3′-dioxo-[delta2,2′-biindoline]-5,7′-disulfonate (an isomer) and subsidiary coloring matters and may be converted to the corresponding aluminum lake.

Common Uses

Indigotine is distinguished by its rich royal blue color, and can be used for coloring foods and drugs, including dietary supplements, blueberry bagels, breakfast cereals, cakes and cupcakes, candies including chocolate, chewing gum, dairy products, decorations for baking, frozen treats, and sauces and seasonings.




Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Indigotine (INS No. 132) 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 indigotine have been adopted in the General Standard for Food Additives.

Regulatory Approvals

JECFA: ADI of 0-5 mg/kg bw (86TH Report, 2019)

USA: FD&C Blue No. 2, along with its aluminum lake (21 CFR 82.102), are a subject to certification and may be safely used for coloring foods (including dietary supplements) generally (21 CFR 74.102) and for coloring ingested drugs (21 CFR 74.1102) in amounts consistent with GMP

EU: ADI of 0-5 mg/kg body weight (EFSA, 2014); EFSA has also established MPLs for use of Indigo carmine in foods and beverages in Europe

Safety Reviews

Safety Evaluation of certain food additives (Eighty-sixth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) WHO Food Additives series no. 77, 2020. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (2014) Scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of Indigo Carmine (E 132) as a food additive. EFSA Journal, 12(7), 3768 [51 pp]. Available online