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E160a (i): carotenes (mixture)
E160a (ii): ß-carotene
Natural colour isolated from several plants; however, it is obtained commercially from carrots. Carotenes occur as isomers, consisting of a series of chemically identical, but sterically different components. The actual composition differs between the plant species.
Function & characteristics:
Water-insoluble food colour whose colour ranges from yellow to orange, depending on the solvent used for extraction.
Many different products.
Up to 5 mg/kg body weight for E160a (i), whereas none has been determined for the other compounds.
No side effects known in the concentrations used in foods. High concentrations will result in yellow discoloration of the skin. As carotene is a source of vitamin A (2 parts of carotene equal 1 part of vitamin A), high concentrations will cause symptoms of vitamin A toxicity.
None; E160a can be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians.