The United Arab Emirates (UAE) restricts the usage of Tartrazine in food & drinks

Tartrazine, also referred to as FD&C Yellow No. 5 or E102, is a food colour that produces a lemon yellow shade. Due to strong light and heat stability, it is suitable for applications including ice creams, confections, sauces and beverages.

2016 legislation changes in the Gulf region of the Middle East have affected the labelling of E102 including the need to carry a warning on the possible “negative effects on activity and concentration in children.”

Recently, the Food Safety Department of the Government of Dubai has published an external circular on the usage of food additives as authorized by the UAE standard UAE.S 192-2016.

The CODEX only allows a limited number of selected food categories, such as soups and broths, to utilize tartrazine as a food colouring with clear maximum usage levels. For further information, you can find the CODEX here. Product developers will have to reformulate food products to replace Tartrazine with e.g. a yellow natural colour solution suitable for the UAE region. The key challenge will be to maintain the colour shade, brightness and overall appearance of legacy brand products.

The law was passed in October 2018, yet is likely to not be implemented until after June 2019. This gives product developers in the UAE the opportunity to replace synthetic colours in their formulas converting to natural colour solutions, as Quinoline Yellow or E 104 had already been banned prior.

“The ban of Tartrazine in most food & drink products in the UAE will further push the conversion to natural colours with immediate effect.”

Luckily, with the advanced technologies and manufacturing capabilities available today, there is no need to compromise on your products’ visual appearance when converting to natural colours in any food or drink application.

With Sensient’s Application Service Centre and local Dubai office, we can readily assist with any of your natural colour needs or projects. In addition, the colour portfolio consists of Halal certified options, conforming to UAE Halal standard, to meet specific regional requirements.

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