Tartrazine (Molecule of the Month for September 2007)
E102, Yellow 5
Tartrazine (otherwise known as E102 or FDC Yellow 5) is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye used as a food coloring. Tartrazine is a very commonly used color in Africa and Sweden — obviously used for yellow, but can also be used with E133 Brilliant Blue FCF or E142 Green S to produce various green shades.
E102 is found in the following food stuffs: soft drinks, instant puddings, flavored chips (Doritos, etc), cake mixes, custard powder, soups, sauces, kool-aid, ice cream, ice lollies, candy, chewing gum, marzipan, jam, jelly, marmalade, mustard, horseradish, yogurt, noodles, pickles and other pickled products, certain brands of fruit squash, fruit cordial, chips, tim tams, and many convenience foods together with glycerin, lemon and honey products. It is also found in soaps, hair products, moisturizers, crayons, stamp dyes, vitamins, antacids, medicinal capsules and certain prescription drugs.
Use of tartrazine is banned in Norway and was banned in Austria and Germany, before European Parliament and Council Directive 94/36/EC lifted the ban. 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.
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for September 2007 )