High Speed Analysis of Food Coloring in Powder Juice by UHPLC with Photodiode Array Detection

Download PDF August 25, 2017


Food colorings are additives that can be both chemically synthesized and natural. For consumer safety, the uses of many of these food colorings are regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

In this application note food coloring in powdered fruit juice was analyzed using Ultra High-performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) with PDA detector with high speed data acquisition (100Hz).

Jasco XLC-3000
Jasco XLC-3000



The chromatogram of a food coloring standard mixture together with a contour plot is shown in figure 1. Excellent separation of nine commonly used food colorings was obtained in under 2 minutes.

Figure.1 Chromatogram of food coloring standard mixture 1: Tartrazine(Y4), 2: Amaranth(R2), 3: Indigotine(B2), 4: Sunset Yellow FCF (Y5), 5: Allura Red AC (R40), 6: Fast Green FCF (G3), 7: Brilliant Blue FCF (B1), 8: Erythrosine (R3), 9: AcidRed(R106).

The on-peak spectra of the food coloring standard mixture are shown in figure 2. Representative spectra of each component was obtained and added to a food colorings library in Chrom Nav.

Figure 2. On-peak spectra of the food coloring standard mixture
1:Tartrazine (Y4), 2:Amaranth (R2), 3: Indigotine (B2), 4: SunsetYellow FCF (Y5), 5:Allura RedAC (R40), 6: Fast Green FCF (G3), 7: Brilliant Blue FCF (B1), 8: Erythrosine (R3), 9:Acid Red (R106)

The chromatogram of a sample of powdered juice together with a contour plot are shown in figure 3 and the Spectral Library search results of each peak are shown in figure 4.

Figure 3. Chromatogram of components in powder juice 1:Tartrazine (Y4), 2:Amaranth (R2), 3: Indigotine (B2)
Figure 4. Spectral search results of components in powdered juice


Correlations for both the retention time and the spectral library search (0.99)provide a good match for three of the colorings added to the fruit juice Tartrazine (Y4), Amaranth (R2) and Indigotine (B2). The XLC-3000 offers a fast and reliable system for the analysis of food colorings in a regulated laboratory.

About the Author

Masao Bounashita