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Sunset Yellow (Molecule of the Month for September 2007)

E110, Orange Yellow S, and FD&C Yellow 6

Sunset Yellow FCF is a colourant that may be added to foods. It has E number E110. It is an azo yellow dye useful in fermented foods which must be heat treated.

It may be found in orange squash, orange jelly, marzipan, Swiss roll, apricot jam, citrus marmalade, lemon curd, sweets, hot chocolate mix and packet soups, trifle mix, breadcrumbs and cheese sauce mix and soft drinks. Also the capsules of DayQuil (in high concentrations) and some extra strength Tylenol.

Sunset Yellow FCF is a prohibited food additive in Norway. A study commissioned by the UK's Food Standards Agency found that when used in a mixture of other preservatives, increased levels of hyperactivity in children were observed.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
dissodium (E)-6-hydroxy-5-((4-sulfonatophenyl)diazenyl)naphthalene-2-sulfonate




Picture of Sunset Yellow

click on the picture above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Sunset Yellow structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Sunset Yellow

C16 H10 N2 Na2 O

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for September 2007 )