Adverse Effect of Azo Food Colourants: A Toxicological Aspect


  • Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya (A Central University), Department of Criminology and Forensic Science, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, 470003, India


Food colourants are important food additives which not only enhance the appearance of food, but also appetite and hold a very significant position in the food industry. These can be obtained from natural and synthetic sources, but synthetic sources are more popular, efficient and potential in its functional terms. Although food colourants don’t have any nutritional value, but their quantity and quality present in food materials imparts serious health risks. Earlier, studies reported that azo food colourants are injudiciously used in the food products and also developed suitable analytical methods for their detection in food materials. Further, evidences from various literatures suggested that food colourants which contains azo dyes are the causal factors for neurotoxicity, carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, hypersensitivity and therefore not safe for the human consumption. The present review article has been aimed to evaluate the toxicological profile of azo food colourants and associated adverse health impact. The findings of the study will add insightful facts to the literature and help the regulatory agencies to revisit and improve their toxicity testing procedures and exercise greater caution regarding continued approval of these dyes, and in the future approve only welltested and, safe dyes.


Azo Dyes, Food Colourants, Hepatotoxicity, Neurotoxicity, Toxicity

Subject Discipline


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