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Ponceau 4R Chemical Structure

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What is Ponceau 4R ?

Ponceau 4R, also referred to as Cochineal red A, Acid Red 18, New coccine, and Brilliant Scarlet 3R, is a strawberry-red colored, synthetic azo dye. It is commonly produced from aromatic hydrocarbons. It is utilized and approved as a food dye (food color) in Europe (E Number E124), Asia, and Australia, however the US-FDA has not authorized it for human consumption.

It is not affected by light, heat, or acid, however it loses its color in the presence of ascorbic acid.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading manufacturer and supplier of Ponceau 4R dye with ISO certification.
Name of Product Ponceau 4R
IUPAC Name trisodium;7-hydroxy-8-[(4-sulfonatonaphthalen-1-yl)diazenyl]naphthalene-1,3-disulfonate
Synonyms Cochineal red A; C.I. acid red 18; Brilliant scarlet 3R; Brilliant scarlet 4R; New coccine; Food Red No. 102; SX Purple; Victoria Scarlet 3R
CAS No 2611-82-7
Molecular Formula C20H11N2Na3O10S3
Molecular Weight 604.5 g/mol
Color Index No 16255
Pubchem CID 17466


SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (form) Solid powder or granules
2 Appearance (color) Reddish to Maroon
3 Solubility Soluble in water (80 mg/ml), methyl cellosolve (80 mg/ml) and in ethanol (0.9 mg/ml)
4 Total Dye Content Min. 85 %
5 Loss on Drying (at 135°C) & Sodium Chlorides & Sulphates NMT 15.0 %
6 Water Insoluble Matter NMT 0.2 %
7 Combined Ether Extracts NMT 0.2 %
8 Subsidiary Dyes NMT 1.0 %
9 Dye Intermediates NMT 0.5 %


  • Ponceau 4R is used in the food industry as a coloring agent to impart a red hue to a variety of items, such as beverages containing alcohol, carbonated drinks, baked goods, candies, syrups, preserved fruits, etc.
  • It is also sometimes used as a colorant in certain cosmetic items and pharmaceuticals.


Q. Is Ponceau 4R safe?

There is no evidence of carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, neurotoxicity, or reproductive and developmental toxicity associated with the use of Ponceau 4R at the permitted dietary exposures (the European acceptable daily intake (ADI) limit of 0.7 mg/kg and the WHO/FAO ADI limit of 4 mg/kg).

Q. Is Ponceau 4R vegan?

Ponceau 4R is vegan.


Food Dyes | An overview of all the dyes currently used in Food

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