Nutritional supplements

Citrus Red (E121)

The food supplement “citrus red 2” has a very rare chance to be found on food labels - it can hide in food under the code code E121. However, recently it has been practically not used in the world for food production, despite the appetizing name. The dye citrus red 2 is able to give food characteristic shades, however, at the same time, it can cause irreparable harm to health even in the smallest quantities. Almost all countries of the world have already banned its use in the food industry, but the United States distinguished themselves in this negative sense - in some states, for example, in Florida, there is no ban on the use of E121.

Chemical characterization

Synthetic dye “citrus red 2” is produced in the process of processing coal. In its structure, it contains coal tar. In appearance, the substance is a granular powder, which has a color from orange to dark red, burgundy or brown.

The substance is poorly soluble in water, but has good solubility in liquids of organic origin containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen. The melting temperature in this case is 150-156 degrees Celsius.

Some food additives, although they relate specifically to dyes according to international classifications, can also have an emulsifying, stabilizing, preserving effect on products. Citrus red 2 does not possess such properties, and manufacturers appreciate it precisely for its coloring effect, as well as for its solubility in organic liquids. Using the substance, you can enhance the natural color of the product, for example, peel of oranges. Also, the dye is able to restore the natural color of food if it was lost after processing. Another option for using E121 is to give the product a color different from its natural color.

Industrial use of citrus red

The substance is most often used for coloring personal care products - shampoos, liquid soaps, detergents, sometimes - to give a characteristic “orange” shade to perfumes and cosmetics for skin care.

In terms of food, since the 1960s in America, sellers of citrus fruits have begun to use it to enhance the attractive orange-colored skins of oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and other citrus fruits. Such a peel can no longer be used for making jelly, candied fruit or jam - the cooked dish will have a poisonous effect. Fruits processed in this way must have the appropriate marking “painted” and a mark on which substance was painted.

In addition, food additive E121 tint:

  • juices;
  • cocktails;
  • drinking yoghurts;
  • candies and sweets, dragees;
  • ice cream;
  • milk products.

Cancer and abnormalities in the functioning of internal organs: how citrus red 2 affects human health

In its classifications, the International Health Organization classified food additive E121 as harmful chemicals, since the consequences of its use pose a significant danger to humans.

The maximum allowable daily dose of an additive allowed for humans is not defined, and scientists and doctors generally focus on the fact that it is categorically not recommended to use it even in minimal dosages, either for children or adults.

The composition of the substance contains components that in the human body turn into carcinogenic compounds. These elements, accumulating in tissues, blood and cells, provoke the appearance of cancer cells and the growth of malignant tumors.

Tests of the additive were carried out in the laboratory using experimental rats. As a result, nearly 15% of rodents developed cancer of the urethra. In most animals, tumors were found in the respiratory system.

The substance gives a very toxic load to the liver: this organ, acting as the main “filter” of the whole organism, takes the brunt of it, filtering out harmful substances like 1-amino-2-naphthol. However, at the same time, the tissues of the liver itself begin to collapse, which can lead to the development of cirrhosis. It is 1-amino-2-naphthol that is one of the strongest carcinogenic elements formed from citrus red 2.

Canada, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, the countries of the European Union are very categorical with respect to the dye “citrus red 2” - its use in the process of preparing food products is strictly prohibited in these states. Among manufacturers of perfumes and personal hygiene items, there is also a tendency to abandon it. Against this background, it is surprising that the organizations for the protection of health and food quality control in the United States of America have not banned the use of the substance in food today: in some states it is used to give an attractive appearance to goods. Even though the supplement is officially recognized as a dangerous carcinogen, in America it can be found in sweets, citrus fruits and a variety of drinks.

Most countries where the E121 additive is banned, the import of goods that contain it, is also not allowed, so if you buy imported goods in supermarkets as officially imported, declared and passed customs control, the probability of encountering a hazardous substance remains minimal.

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