E129 is a red azo food dye used in cakes, jelly, beverages, biscuits, etc. This is also called Allura Red AC. There is also a debate in the Muslim world on this food color, whether it is Halal or Haram. This article covers the topic of Halal or Haram of the E129 food color and its making and other uses.

What is E129?

Allura Red AC is a red azo dye known as FD&C Red 40.  It’s a food coloring with the E number E129. It is commonly provided as the red sodium salt, although calcium and potassium salts can also be utilized. Water dissolves these salts. Its maximum absorbance in solution is around 504 nm.

Allura Red, FD&C Red No. 40 is made by combining diazotized 5-amino-4-methoxy-2-toluenesulfonic acid and 6-hydroxy-2-naphthalene sulfonic acid. Robust summaries and test plans for the EPA/Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics’ High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program. 6-hydroxy-5-naphthalene sulfonic acid.

E129 Halal or Haram?

There is a debate on E129, whether it is Halal or Haram.  Allura Red AC (E- 129) is a red azo dye known by numerous names, including Allura Red, Food Red 17, C.I. 16035, FD&C Red 40, and FD&C Red 40. 2-naphthalene sulfonic acid, disodium salt, and disodium 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl) azo)-2-naphthalenesulfonate It’s a food coloring with the E number E129.

Because E-129 is a synthetic compound not generated from animal byproducts, etc., it is Halal and safe to ingest. The South African National Halal Authority (SANHA), the Muslim Consumer Group (MSG), and other Halal certifying bodies have likewise rated E-129 as “Halal.”

Is E129 can be used by Vegans?

As E129 is not generated from any animal byproducts, that’s why both vegans and vegetarians can use it. It is generated from a synthetic compound; hence it can also be consumed by people of all religions.

Uses of E129

Allura Red AC is a widely used dye all over the world. In 1980, annual production was more than 2.3 million kg. The European Union has approved Allura Red AC as a food colorant. However, local prohibitions against food colorants in EU nations remain in place.

The FDA authorizes Allura Red AC for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food in the United States. It is labeled as Red 40 Lake or Red 40 Aluminum Lake when prepared as a lake.

It is found in numerous products, including cotton candy, soft drinks, cherry-flavored items, children’s pharmaceuticals, and dairy products. It is sometimes used to color pharmaceutical tablets, like the antihistamine fexofenadine, for cosmetic reasons.

Health Complications Of E129

The European Union has given the food additive E129 its approval (EU). In addition to being utilized as a synthetic coloring additive in food and beverage items, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals contain it.

But laboratory research has connected this coloring to bladder cancer in Mice. Norway, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Austria, and Belgium have all banned E129. E129 exhibits similar adverse effects to other azo dyes, but its side effects are less severe than theirs.

Safety of E129:

Allura Red has been extensively researched by food safety organizations in North America and Europe and is still widely used. The Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom commissioned a study of six food dyes (tartrazine, Allura red, Ponceau 4R, Quinoline Yellow, Sunset Yellow, carmoisine (called the “Southampton 6”), and sodium benzoate (a preservative) on youngsters in the general population who drank them.

The researchers discovered “a probable relationship between the use of these artificial colors and a sodium benzoate preservative and increased hyperactivity” in youngsters.

Following the publication of the Southampton study, the US FDA made no changes.

Considering all of this research and evidence, we can conclude that E129 is safe to use.

Final Words

For the whole Muslim population, the two primary sources of guidance are the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. According to the Quran and Sunnah, the presence of E129 in food denotes halal food.

Islamic scholars determine the halal and haram status of contemporary items, such as food additives, based on halal and haram principles. And the ingredient E129 red azo food dye is regarded as halal by practically all Islamic authorities.

Read more about Is E422 halal?

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