Food-Info.net> E-numbers > E100-200
E120: Carmine, Carminic acid, Cochineal
E120(ii) Cochineal extract
Natural red food colour isolated from the insects
Dactylopius coccus, living on different species of succulents. E120(i) is the pure colour, whereas E120(ii) is the crude extract. For more information, see the background file on cochineal.
Function & characteristics:
Red food colour. Very soluble in water.
Up to 5 mg/kg body weight.
No side effects in the concentrations used in foods. Increased hyperactivity has been reported in a few cases. Contact allergy is well known when used in cosmetics.
As it is extracted from insects, E120 cannot be consumed by vegans and vegetarians and neither by some religious groups.