Water-soluble Food & Personal Care Colourants

  • Concentrated colourants for food and personal care products.
  • Kosher and Halal certified.

Water-soluble Food & Cosmetic Colourants

In the powder form many of the colourants are a completely different colour to the colour they develop when dissolved in water. For this reason we included a picture of the powders and of the colours that they develop in water. Then important colour is obviously the colour of them dissolved in water as this is the colour they will impart to food. 
1 x 50g unit of these colouring powders has about the equivalent colouring power of 23 liquid food colouring bottles each of 35ml.

Identification and approval of Food Colourants

  • Approved for food and personal care product applications.
  • All chemically pure colouring pigments and colourants are assigned a Colour Index Number. This identifies the substance but does not indicate where and how they can be used. 
  • E numbers are codes for chemicals which can be used as food additives for use within the European Union and Switzerland. They are commonly found on food labels throughout the European Union. They are also suitable for use in cosmetic and other personal care products. As South Africa applies the European standard they are suitable for use in food and cosmetics/personal care products in South Africa. Foods that contain them should have the E-number included in the list of ingredients.
  • In the United States, FD&C numbers (which indicate that the FDA has approved the colourant for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics) are given to approved synthetic food dyes that do not exist in nature. Not all of these colourants have an FD&C number and those without one should not be used in foods exported to the USA. 
  • These colourants are both Kosher and Halal certified.

How to use these food colourants

These powders should be dissolved in water before adding them to food or personal care products.
Use 10% pigment to prepare a concentrated liquid food colourant (e.g. add 50g powder to 500ml water or 20g powder to 200ml water or 10g powder to 100ml water).
Add powder to water and stir with a spoon until all the powder has dissolved - your concentrated colouring solution is now ready to use.
On storage of the concentrated liquid solution some crystals (solid material) may form. If this occurs simply stir again until the solid material has dissolved. This can be avoided by making less concentrated solutions e.g.7%. 
Solutions that you make in this way do not contain preservatives so have a limited shelf life. Don't prepare more than you will use within a few weeks and store in a fidge.

Colourant Information


Yellow Lemon (Tartrazine)

Colour Index: 19140
E Number (Europe): E102
FD&C Name (USA): FD&C Yellow 5
Also called: Food Yellow 4

Yellow Egg

Colour Index: 15985 & 19140 
E Number (Europe): E 102 & E110
FD&C Name (USA): FD&C Yellow 5 & FD&C Yellow 6
Also called: Food Yellow 4 & Food Yellow 3

Sunset Yellow

Colour Index: 15985
E Number (Europe): E110
FD&C Name (USA): FD&C Yellow 6
Also called: Food Yellow 3

Ponceau 4R

Colour Index: 16255
E Number (Europe): E124
FD&C Name (USA): None
Also called: Food Red 7


Colour Index: 14720
E Number (Europe): E122
FD&C Name (USA): None
Also called: Food Red 3

Brilliant Blue

Colour Index: 42090
E Number (Europe): E133
FD&C Name (USA): FD&C BLUE 1
Also called: Food Blue 2


Colour Index: 42090 & 19140
E Number (Europe): E133 & E102
Also called: Food Blue 2 & Food Yellow 4

Brown HT

Colour Index: 20285
E Number (Europe): E155
FD&C Name (USA): None
Also called: Food Brown 3


Colour Index: 14720 & 15985
E Number (Europe): 14720 & 15985
FD&C Name (USA): E122 & E110
Also called: Food Red 3 & Food Yellow 3
Some typical food applications : Ice Cream, Snack Foods, Soft Drinks, Sauces, Jams, Sea Food, Dairy Products, Confectionary, Baked Goods, Icings, Dry Pet Food etc.

The above colourants can be used in the following personal care products: 

  • Shampoos and shower gels
  • Creams and Lotions
  • Toothpastes and gels
  • Mouthwashes
  • Transparent Toilet Soaps 
  • Opaque Toilet Soaps (Sunset Yellow, Tartrazine, Brilliant Blue, HT Brown, Black, Green)

When used in these personal care products the amount used is often extremely low. In some cases, the use of higher amounts can lead to temporary staining of the skin. 


Brief overview of applicable food colouring legislation in South Africa

You should not dilute food colourants with unapproved substances. Our soluble food colourant powders should get diluted with (dissolved in) water which is obviously an approved substance. As these particular colourants get diluted in water we have not listed substances approved for dilution purposes. 
You may not add food colourants to any of the following foodstuffs:

(Where exceptions for the use of specific colourants in these foodstuffs apply, these are listed in legislation and anybody intending to colour these foodstuffs should familiarise themselves with more detailed legislation.)

  • Bread
  • Cocoa and chocolate
  • Coffee, including instant coffee
  • Egg yolk, egg white, whole egg and egg powder
  • Fish, meat and poultry and products prepared therefrom
  • Flour and starch
  • Foodstuffs which are not processed
  • Foodstuffs for infants, young children and children as specified under the Act
  • Fruit juices as defined by the Agricultural Products Standards Act , No. 119 of 1990
  • Honey
  • Bottled natural water
  • Tea, tea extracts and infusions, including instant tea mixes
  • Tomato paste
  • Spices
  • Unflavoured buttermilk
  • Unflavoured cream and cream powder
  • Unflavoured fermented milk
  • Unflavoured milk, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk and pasteurized or sterilized, including UHT
  • Sterilized, milk

The following foodstuffs may only contain certain permitted colourants i.e. not all food colourants can be used in these foodstuffs.

(Where the use of specific colourants in these foodstuffs are allowed, these are listed in legislation and anybody intending to colour these foodstuffs should familiarise themselves with more detailed legislation.)

  • Butter, Cheese, Fats and Oils, Margarine, Meat (raw or unprocessed) and egg shell for decorative purposes, Nuts, Pistachio………, Tomato juice and guava juice, Whole meal, brown or malt bread…….., Foodstuffs consisting exclusively or in part of meat and/or edible offal (excluding boerewors, species-sausages, mixed species-sausages and raw or unprocessed meat).
Yellow Lemon
Yellow Egg
Sunset Yellow
Ponceau 4R
Brilliant Blue
Brown HT
Unit Size

No information available

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