E102, also known as tartrazine, is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye commonly used as a food coloring. It is a sodium salt of tartaric acid and is produced from petroleum.

Tartrazine is a widely used food additive because it’s relatively inexpensive to produce and creates a very vibrant yellow color in food and beverages. It’s found in many processed foods, including:

  • Beverages: soft drinks, sports drinks, and flavored water
  • Cereals
  • Baked goods: cakes, cookies, pastries, and donuts
  • Candy: including hard candy, chewing gum, and fruit snacks
  • Dairy products: cheese, yogurt, and ice cream
  • Savory snacks: chips, popcorn, and pretzels
  • Canned goods: vegetables, fruit, and soups
  • Sauces and condiments

While E102 is generally considered safe for most people by regulatory bodies like the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), there has been some controversy surrounding its use. Some studies have suggested that it may trigger hyperactivity in children and worsen symptoms in people with asthma or allergies.

If you are concerned about E102 consumption, you can always check the ingredient label of foods you purchase. Look for E102 or tartrazine listed in the ingredients. You can also opt for foods colored with natural ingredients like turmeric or beta-carotene.

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