from Richard Ratcliffe, Food Additives and Ingredients’ Association

Sir; In ‘FSA warns of Sudan Red 1 possibility in Sunset Yellow’ (The Grocer, September 24, p8), Howard Davies, laboratory manager for Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association, was quoted as saying that many food grade chemical dyes, such as Sunset Yellow, can contain up to 30% impurities. We wish to point out that this comment is completely untrue and, in consequence, wholly misleading.
All food colours used in the EU and Europe are highly regulated as to what they may and may not contain. No food colour would contain anything like 30% “impurities”, especially when, as in the case of Sunset Yellow, regulations require a minimum pure colour content of 85%. The other components are sodium chloride and moisture.
The actual impurity content after allowing for the 5% subsidiary dye permitted by the regulations would typically not exceed 0.25%.