Also known as FD&C Yellow 5 or E102, tartrazine is a yellow dye commonly used in processed goods like ice cream, soft drinks, moisturizers, pet foods, and crayons. Of all azo dyes, tartrazine frequently causes allergic and intolerant reactions, though the mechanism of sensitivity is not clear. While conflicting studies have been published regarding its role in promoting hyperactive behaviors in children, tartrazine is being voluntarily phased out in many countries in Europe. In the United States, foods or drugs containing tartrazine must declare the chemical on their ingredients list; the Food and Drug Administration frequently seizes imported products containing undeclared tartrazine.
Image by Frederic Labaune.