CI Natural Yellow 3
Color Index No 75300
INS No 100(i)
Safran des Indes
INS No 100(ii)
The yellow color additive turmeric is the ground powder of the rhizomes of the Curcuma longa Linnaeus plant, a member of the ginger family. The root plant is native to India and is widely used to spice and color food. Turmeric contains 3-5% volatile oils and 2.5-6% yellow pigments, the curcuminoids, of which curcumin predominates. In addition to its coloring characteristics, turmeric also displays anti-oxidant properties. Turmeric has a bright yellow to greenish yellow hue and is very tolerant to heat and pH extremes.For the purposes of coloring commercially prepared foods, interest has been mainly focused on turmeric oleoresin and pure curcumin. The oleoresin is prepared via extraction from turmeric with one of the approved organic solvents. Following the evaporation of the solvent, turmeric oleoresin may contain 15-40% curcuminoids, along with volatile oils and other extractable plant constituents.
Turmeric, turmeric oleoresin, and curcumin are yellow color additives that are used in condiments such as pickles, mustard, seasonings, relish, hot peppers, snacks, baked goods, sauces, salad dressing, oils, margarine, frozen desserts, cheeses, pies, cakes, candies, beverages, frosting, cereal, snacks, fruit preparation, convenient food, meat, seafood and soups.
EU Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012
The Codex Alimentarius Commission has finalized authorization of Curcumin use in soups and broths (food category number 12.5) with a maximum permitted level (MPL) of 50 mg/kg, as noted in the General Standard of Food Additives (GSFA) (CODEX STAN 192-1995, 2016). A large number of other applications of Curcumin as a color additive in foods and beverages have been proposed and are pending authorization, following completion of the review and comments process. Most applications are pending approval at Step 7 of the Step Process with few at Step 4 of the Process (Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program, 2016). The MPL for most of these applications range from 50-700 ppm, with few exceptions of lower limits in selected types of foods.
JECFA: ADI of 0-3 mg/kg bw established for curcumin (2003).No ADI allocated for turmeric as it is regarded often as a food rather than as a food additive (1986). No ADI allocated for turmeric oleoresin (1989).
EC: ADI for curcumin of 3 mg/kg bw/day (EFSA, 2010). EFSA has also established MPLs for use of Curcumin in beverages and foodstuffs according to the European Parliament and Council Directive 94/36/EC.
Overall, a weight-of-the-evidence analysis indicates that turmeric/curcumin is not mutagenic. In fact, turmeric and curcumin have been reported to have antimutagenic properties. In the final report of the NTP (1992) studies, NTP concluded that the S. typhimurium assay has the “highest positive predictivity for carcinogenic activity in rodents”. The negative data from the NTP S. typhimurium assays and other S. typhimurium assays reported in the literature demonstrate that it is highly unlikely that turmeric/curcumin is carcinogenic. Poor absorption from the intestine, rapid metabolism by the liver, and rapid elimination in the bile makes it unlikely that high concentrations of curcumin will accumulate in the body following ingestion by rats. Acute oral toxicity of turmeric is > 5 g/kg in rats and > 2 g/kg in mice. No adverse effects were observed in rats fed diets providing turmeric powder at a level of 500 mg/kg body weight or an alcoholic extract of turmeric at 60 mg/kg body weight for twelve weeks. No adverse effects were observed in monkeys fed diets providing turmeric powder at levels of 500 mg/kg body weight for nine months. Studies in rats over three generations failed to show any adverse effects on the reproductive capacity of the animals. The no-observed-adverse-effect level of turmeric oleoresin for female and male mice are 10,000 ppm (1,620 mg/kg/d) and 2,000 ppm (220 mg/kg/d), respectively, based on the lack of toxicity at these levels indicated by adequate survival, body weights similar to controls and an absence of significant neoplastic and nonneoplastic lesions.
JECFA (1986). Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. WHO Technical Report Series No. 751. Thirtieth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Available online.
JECFA (1990). Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. WHO Technical Report Series No. 789. Thirty-fifth meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Available online.
JECFA (2004). Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. WHO Technical Report Series No. 922. Sixty-first meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Available online.
EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS); Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of curcumin (E 100) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(9):1679. [46 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1679. Available online.
Full safety monograph, including references, available to IACM members or upon request.