Carmine food colouring molecule

Carmine food colouring molecule

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Credit: DR MARK J. WINTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Carmine food colouring molecule. Molecular model of carminic acid, an organic compound used in the red food colouring carmine. Carmine, also known as Cochineal and E120, is very commonly used in the UK, the EU and the USA in foods such as fruit juices,yoghurts and ice cream. However, there are concerns over this food colouring being linked to allergic reactions, hyperactivity and temper tantrums in children. Research has shown that behaviour problems increase with higher additive levels in food, so parents have been advised not to give children foods containing these additives. Atoms are colour-coded: hydrogen (gold), carbon (red) and oxygen (orange).

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