FAQ: E127

What is E127?

E127, also known as, Erythrosine or Red Dye #3. is a cherry-pink/red synthetic coal tar dye, commonly found in sweets, bakery, glace cherries, chocolate, sprinkles, cake decorating gels and other edible goods.

Is E127 legal?

Although still approved in the US, E127 is an illegal edible ingredient in the UK/EU and banned from use in edible products.

Why is E127 banned in the UK?

Associations have been made between E127 and hyperactive behavioural disorders in children, causing a negative effect on activity and attention. Not only that, there are also concerns regarding links between the dye and thyroid activity. After a study in 1990, there was a correlation found between the additive and increased thyroid hormone levels in rats – and in more extreme cases, thyroid tumours. 

Are there any exceptions?

E127 is allowed to be used in glazer cherry to keep the colour.

Can non-edible products contain E127?

It is perfectly acceptable for non-edible products to contain E127, providing it is used for craft purposes only, and not for consumption or in cosmetics. For example, non-edible glitter or craft paints.

What should I do if I purchase an edible product containing E127?

Unfortunately, many companies across the UK still overlook the ban of E127, and still produce and distribute products containing the additive, intended for edible use.

If you do purchase a product in the UK containing E127, the retailer or distributor is breaking food legislations laws and should be reported to Trading Standards for investigation. 

What are some alternatives?

Maybe there’s a specific product you love but can no longer use due to food legislations regarding E127, or perhaps you’re researching alternatives to look out for. We stock various leading brands of food colourings, gels, paints and sprinkles – none of which will contain E127.

The main alternative to E127 is E129 (Allura Red) or E122 (Carmoisine, Azorubine), which are typically used as replacements. You’ll most likely find these in our products. For example, Magic Colours’ Pro Gels, or Roxy & Rich’s Fondust – both products that offer bold, impactful colour results, without the risk of EU banned ingredients.

For sprinkles, we recommend ‘Happy Sprinkles’. Produced in Germany, these sprinkles not only look amazing but are 100% edible and follow the same guidelines when it comes to food additive laws concerning E127. 

Despite your preferences, you can rest assured that the products displaying on our website are free of E127 additive, maintaining our high standard of protocol when it comes to food legislation laws and guidelines. For any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us and ask.

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