E120 Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine



Carmine or cochineal-a substance of natural origin has the properties of a dye. Carmine is registered as a food additive-a red color, in the international classification of food additives it is registered under the index E120.

General Characteristics E120 Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine

E120 (Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine) is a fine powder of dark red or burgundy color, tasteless and odorless. The substance is highly soluble in water, does not lose its properties under the influence of light and heat. Getting into different acidic environments, the dye gives different shades of red-from orange to purple.


Carmine is extracted from dried female cactus shields, which are collected before laying eggs, when the insects acquire a red color. The process of extracting carmine is long and laborious, almost all is done manually, so carmine is one of the most expensive dyes.

Benefits and harms of E120 (Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine)

E120 is included in the list of food additives that are safe for the human body, the permissible daily consumption rates are not officially established (calorizator). But there are cases of individual intolerance to carmine, the result can be severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks and anaphylactic shock. All food manufacturers using E120 must necessarily indicate information about the presence of dye on the product packaging.

Application E120 (Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine)

In the food industry, E120 is most often used in the production of meat foods, fish and fish foods, cheeses and dairy foods, confectionery, sauces, ketchups, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.


In addition to food production, carmine is used as a fabric dye, in cosmetology, and in the manufacture of art paints and inks.

Use of E120 (Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine in our country)

On the territory of our country, it is allowed to use E120 (Cochineal, carminic acid, carmine) as a food additive-dye in the production of food foods with the mandatory indication of the presence of E120 in the product.


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