What is Sudan 4 and What are its effects?

Recently, in Kerala few Curry powder producing companies were accused of using Food Coloring Dye called Sudan IV.  Read the following to know more about the use of this dangerous carcinogenic substance and its harmful effects on human body

What is Sudan 4:
Sudan IV (C24H20N4O) is a lysochrome  (fat-soluble dye) diazo dye used for the staining of lipids, triglycerides and lipoproteins on frozen paraffin  sections. It has the appearance of reddish brown crystals with melting point 199 °C and maximum absorption at 520(357) nm.

Its Uses :
In industry, it is used to color nonpolar substances like oils, fats, waxes, greases, various hydrocarbon  products, and acrylic emulsions

Is it a Dangerous Stuff?
Sudan I, Sudan III, and Sudan IV have been classified as category 3 carcinogens  by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. As a food dye, Sudan IV is considered an illegal dye, mainly because of its harmful effect over a long period of time, as it is a carcinogen. It was ruled unsafe in the 1995 food safety regulations report.

For more info please read following :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudan_IV

An interesting research article – Dyes Sudan I to IV in food :
http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/dyes_sudan_I_IV.pdf

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has assessed the health risk from spices and foods containing the dyes Sudan I-IV. The Institute came to the conclusion that Sudan dyes can, in principle, harm health. It also points out that in the case of one-off or occasional consumption of foods containing a few milligrams of Sudan dyes, the risk of cancer is probably very low. However, this assessment does not apply to the frequent consumption of foods and spices containing the substance in high concentrations of several thousand milligrams.

The assessment that the risk of cancer is probably very low in the case of occasional consumption of foods with a low level does not, however, mean that there is no risk at all. For category 2 carcinogenic substances no level can be given which is not harmful. Since the risk increases in the case of frequent or ongoing consumption, as little as possible of these substances should be taken in for precautionary reasons.

Since Curry powders are being used regularly in our homes….then you decide whether this thing is harmful or not???

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