Determination of Synthetic Colors in Some Locally Available Foods of Kashan City, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Biochemistry & Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Food & Hygiene Control Laboratory, Deputy of Food & Drug, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran


Aims The synthetic colors are preferred by the food industry because of the variety of shades,
intensity, uniformity, excellent solubility and stability. They are used in a variety of food
products such as dairy products, beverages, baked products, confections and pet foods. Food
colors may have toxic effects on the human body. This study aimed to examine the amount of
synthetic colors in some ready to use foods in Kashan, Iran.
Instrument & Methods In this cross sectional study, conducted in Kashan City, Iran, in
March to October 2015, a total of 52 samples of meat products, 33 samples of sweets, 43
samples of drinks and 21 samples of miscellaneous foods were collected. The coloring agents
were extracted of samples and purified using the hydrochloric acid extraction method. Thin
layer chromatography was used to analyze the samples.
Findings 72 samples (48.30%) contained no coloring and 77 samples (51.7%) contained
artificial colors. The most coloring agents were in sweets (72.7%), drinks (51.2%) and meat
products samples (48.10%). The quinoline yellow, tartrazine and sunset yellow were the
most common coloring used in the various foods.
Conclusion About 52% of examined foods contained artificial colors that have been banned by
the national Iranian standards organization.