Important information on food coloursResearch shows that some food colours can be associated with hyperactivity in children, especially the following six colours.
- E102 Tartrazine
- E110 Sunset Yellow
- E124 Ponceau 4R
- E104 Quinoline Yellow
- E122 Carmoisine
- E129 Allura Red
However, consumers should be aware that these colours may still be present in foods which are manufactured outside in the UK, but available in Northern Ireland.
If these colours are used in foods made in Europe, by law (Regulation 1333/2008, Annex V) the food label must include the following information:
The name 'X' or E-number of the colour(s) accompanied by the warning phrase "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children".
Example: Contains Tartrazine and Allura Red which may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.
This information must be easy to understand, clearly legible and indelible (will not wash off easily) and marked in a conspicuous place so it is easily visible and not obscured or interrupted by any other written or pictorial matter.
Where the additive category 'colours' are required to be declared on a notice in a prominent location near the food containing the colours then the warning phrase must also appear on that notice for each product containing any of the six colours.
The following food is exempt from this additional labelling requirement:
Food not required to be labelled with the additive category 'colours' or food where any of the 6 colours are used only for health or other marking on meat products or for stamping or decorative colouring on eggshells or alcoholic drinks over 1.2% alcohol by volume.
For more information or advice on food colouring, visit the Food Standards Agency website