Last update Aug. 18, 2021

Amaranth (dye, coloring)

Limited compatibility

Unsafe. Moderate/severe adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Use safer alternative or discontinue breastfeeding from 5 to 7 T ½ . Read Commentary.

Synthetic azo dye derived from naphthalene (petroleum tar) used in pastries, sweets, aperitif wines, cosmetics and medicines.
This product has nothing to do with the amaranth plant (Amaranthus caudatus, kiwicha).

At the date of the last update, the authors did not find any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

In 1976 the FDA prohibited the dietary use of E123 as a possible carcinogen and toxic to the reproductive system (FDA 1977).
The European Food Safety Agency allows it in certain foods, but establishes a maximum acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0.15 mg/kg of body weight (EFSA 2010).
Its use has been restricted or banned in many countries (UN 2005, p41)

See below the information of this related product:

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Amaranth (dye, coloring) is also known as

Amaranth (dye, coloring) in other languages or writings:

  • Амарант (Cyrillic)
  • E123 (E number)
  • Sal trisódica del ácido 3-hidroxi-4-(4-sulfonato-1-naftilazo)-2,7- naftalensulfónico (Chemical name)
  • C20 H11 N2 Na3 O10 S3 (Molecular formula)


Amaranth (dye, coloring) belongs to this group or family:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 605 daltons


  1. EFSA. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of Amaranth (E 123) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2010;8(7):1649 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. UN- ONU. United Nations Consolidated List of Products Whose Consumption and/or Sale Have Been Banned, Withdrawn, Severely Restricted or not Approved by Governments. Twelfth issue. None 2005 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. FDA. Food and Drug Administration USA. Food and Drug Administration´s Regulation of Food Additives. Amaranth-Red no 2. 1977 Full text (in our servers)

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