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E160

Food additives

Group: E100–E199 (colours)
E160a is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a natural colouring agent in food and drink products.
The common names for E160a are:
E160a(i) - Mixed Carotenes
E160a(ii) - Beta-Carotenes
E160a is an orange / yellow colouring that, once in the body, is converted to Vitamin A.
E160a(i) is a synthetic mix of carotenes derived from carrots and is produced on a large scale commercially. However, carotenes also occur naturally in many orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. E160a is not soluble in water and the intensity of the colour tends to fade with exposure to light.
Frequent and prolonged close contact with E160a may result in discolouration of the skin. The colouring may not be suitable for vegetarians because gelatine, which is derived from cattle or fish, may be used as a stabilizer.
E160b is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a natural colouring agent in food and drink products.
The common names for E160b are anatto, bixin or norbixin.
E160b is a yellow-to-red colouring derived from the seeds of the annatto tree (Bixa orellana). Bixin refers to the fat soluble form of the colouring, whereas norbixin refers to the water soluble form. As well as being a food additive, E160b can be used as a colouring for body paints and can also act as a agent to help digestion.
E160b has now been introduced as an alternative colouring to tartrazine, which is also known as E102. However, there may still be a chance of E160b provoking an allergic reaction.
E160c is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a natural colouring agent in food and drink products.
The common names for E160c are paprika extract, capsanthin or capsorubin.
E160c is a deep red colouring and flavouring, derived from red bell peppers (capsicum annuum). The peppers are dried and ground before paprika is extracted using solvents. Capsanthin may be used in poultry feed to increase the intensity of the egg yolk colour.
In extreme cases E160c may irritate the eyes and even cause temporary blindness. Eating vast quantities may reduce the effectiveness of taste buds. However, this natural colouring is generally considered safe in food products approved by the EU, but is banned in Australia.

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