E153 - Vegetable charcoal

E153, also known as vegetable charcoal, is a naturally occurring food coloring used to color certain food products.


Vegetable charcoal is often used in small quantities to achieve shades of black in food products. Its use as a coloring agent is approved in many countries, but like any food additive, it is advisable to adhere to recommended usage limits and follow local regulations.

Characteristics of Vegetable charcoal (E153):

  • Origin: Vegetable charcoal is obtained from carbonized plant raw materials, usually wood or coconut shell.
  • Composition: Primarily composed of carbon, Vegetable charcoal is often activated through a carbonization process.
  • Appearance: It is generally in the form of black powder.
  • Color: Imparts a black tint to food products.

Common Uses:

  • Food Coloring: Used to color certain food products, including ice cream, candies, sauces, pastries, etc.
  • Detoxification: Often marketed as an ingredient in detox or digestive system cleansing products, although its effectiveness in this regard is controversial.
  • Stability: Vegetable charcoal is stable under various conditions, including acidic or alkaline environments.
  • Texture: As a coloring agent, it generally does not affect the texture of food products.
  • Usage Quantity: Used in minimal quantities to achieve the desired tint.
  • Regulation: Its use is regulated in the food industry to ensure safety.

Data sheet

CAS Number
HS Code
25kg bag

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