Paprika Extract



INS No 160c(i-ii)
E 160c
Paprika oleoresin
Paprika extract, Capsanthin, Capsorubin

Physical Description

Paprika is a deep red, sweet, pungent powder from the ground, dried pod of mild capsicum (Capsicum annuum L.). Paprika extract is obtained by solvent extraction of the dried ground fruit pods of Capsicum annum. The major coloring principles are capsanthin and capsorubin, and other coloring compounds such as other carotenoids are also present. Extracts are slightly viscous, homogeneous red liquids and are used to obtain a deep red color in any food that has a liquid/fat phase.

Common Uses

Paprika is used to color meat products, confectionery, vegetable oils, snacks, surimi, seasonings, soups, sauces, salad dressings, marinades, processed cheese, bakery products, fruit preparations, convenient foods and canned goods. Its use as both a color and a spice overlap frequency.




EU Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

The Codex Alimentarius Commission has finalized authorization of Paprika extract (INS No. 160c(ii)) for use in 3 food categories, including confectionery including hard and soft candy, nougats, etc., decorations, toppings (non-fruit) and sweet sauces and chewing gum as noted in the General Standard of Food Additives. Many other applications of Paprika extract as a color additive in foods and beverages have been proposed and are pending authorization, following completion of the review and comments process.

Regulatory Approvals

USA:  Paprika (21 CFR 73.340) and Paprika Oleoresin (21 CFR 73.345) are exempt from certification and may be safely used for the coloring foods generally, in amounts consistent with GMP.

JECFA: Paprika extract: 0–1.5 mg/kg bw, expressed as total carotenoids (79th Report, 2014).

EU: ADI of 24 mg/kg bw/day or 1.7 mg carotenoids/kg bw/day for paprika extract (EFSA, 2015). Specific food and beverage categories where use is authorized at quantum satis are defined in Annex II to Regulation IEC) No 1333/2008 on food additives.

Safety Assessment

JECFA concluded that the results of a 90-day dietary toxicity study and a combined 52-week toxicity and 104-week carcinogenicity study in rats, both conducted with a paprika extract representative of the various extracts used in commerce as a food color, did not provide evidence of any adverse effects. The no adverse effect level (NOAEL) for paprika extract in both studies was 5% in the diet, the highest concentration tested, equal to 2052 mg/kg bw per day (calculated by the authors for the 104-week carcinogenicity study). The Committee noted that the weight of evidence obtained in genotoxicity studies indicates that paprika extract is not genotoxic.

The assessment of dietary exposure to paprika extract used as a color was based on exposure to total carotenoids in paprika extract. Based on survey data, the highest exposure at the 95th percentile was estimated to be 6.3–13.2 mg/day (equivalent to 0.1–0.2 mg/kg bw per day, based on a body weight of 60 kg), which is below the acceptable daily intake (ADI). JECFA concluded that dietary exposure to paprika extract used as a food color does not present a health concern.

Safety Reviews

JECFA (2014). Evaluation of certain food additives: seventy-ninth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. WHO technical report series; no. 990. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of paprika extract (E 160c) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2015;13(12):4320, 51 pp. Available online