Is E155 Halal or Haram?

featured - Is E155 Halal or Haram?

Curious about E155 and its compatibility with Halal dietary requirements? You’ve just hit the right spot for a deep exploration.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re unraveling the mystery behind E155, its uses, and most importantly, answering the burning question on everyone’s mind: Is E155 Halal?

Strap in, because we’re about to embark on a flavorful journey of knowledge and discovery!

Key Takeaways

📌 E155, also known as Brown HT, is a brown synthetic coal tar diazo dye used as a food colorant.
📌 E155 is derived from various sources, including coal-based materials and sometimes vegetable sources. It is a synthetic dye produced through chemical processes.
📌 E155 is generally considered Halal, especially when it does not involve materials forbidden by Shari’a law in its production process. However, its Halal status may depend on its specific source and processing.

What is E155?

E155, also known as Brown HT, is a term that might sound like a secret code, but it’s actually a brown synthetic coal tar diazo dye. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it?

Its full IUPAC name is even more of a tongue-twister: Disodium 4-[(2E)-2-[(5Z)-3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,6-dioxo-5-[(4-sulfonatonaphthalen-1-yl)hydrazinylidene]-1-cyclohex-3-enylidene]hydrazinyl]naphthalene-1-sulfonate.

But for simplicity, let’s stick with Brown HT or E155.

Chemical Structure

The chemical structure of E155 is complex. It belongs to a group of chemical compounds that are used to give foods a specific color. This color can range from brown to black, depending on its concentration and the food it’s added to. The molecular structure is what determines its properties, including its color and solubility.

Where might you find E155?

Imagine biting into a delicious chocolate cake. 🍰 Did you know that the rich brown color might not always come from cocoa or caramel?

Sometimes, it’s E155 that gives it that tempting hue. This dye is used mainly in chocolate cakes, but its presence doesn’t stop there. It can also be found in:

  • Desserts
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Cheeses
  • Teas
  • Yogurts
  • Jams
  • Chocolate drinks
  • Ice creams
  • Fruit products
  • Fish
  • Wafers
  • Breakfast cereals
    … and other products.

What Is E155 Made From?

E155 is derived from various sources. The primary source is often coal-based, but it can also be obtained from vegetable sources.

This dye is synthetically created. It’s an artificial colorant derived from coal tar, which is a byproduct of coal processing. Being a synthetic dye, it doesn’t have natural origins like some other food colorants. Instead, it’s produced through chemical processes using coal tar as a base material.

Possible Side Effects

Like many food additives, E155 can have side effects. Some individuals might experience allergic reactions, while others could face digestive issues. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect any adverse reactions.

Regulations and Guidelines

E155, like other food additives, is regulated by various food safety authorities worldwide. In the European Union, for instance, E155 is approved for use but within certain limits. The Food Standards Agency provides guidelines on its usage, ensuring that it’s safe for consumption when used as directed.

Dosage and Administration

The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level for E155 or Brown HT has been established by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the European Union Scientific Committee for Food (SCF).

JECFA established an ADI of 0-1.5 mg/kg body weight (bw)/day, while the SCF established an ADI of 0-3 mg/kg bw/day. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has re-evaluated the safety of Brown HT and established an ADI of 1.5 mg/kg bw/day based on a long-term carcinogenicity and toxicity study in mice.

The ANS Panel also established an ADI for Brown HT of 1.5 mg/kg. The ADI is exceeded at the mean exposure level only for toddlers and high percentile of exposure for both adults and 1-10-year-old children.

However, the mean and high-level exposure estimates of Brown HT are below the ADI for all population groups when considering the reported use levels only. Therefore, E155 is considered safe for consumption within the established ADI level.

Is E155 Halal or Haram?

E155 is typically deemed Halal, based on its non-animal origin. This Halal classification remains valid as long as the processing agents used in its production do not involve materials forbidden by Shari’a law.

Find out more:
Is E153 Halal or Haram?
Is E160a Halal or Haram?


E155 is a common food additive with a complex background. Its Halal status depends on its source and processing. As consumers, it’s our responsibility to stay informed and make choices that align with our beliefs and health considerations.

Allahu A’lam (Allah Knows Best)


What is the source of E155?

E155 can be derived from both petroleum and vegetable sources. The source plays a significant role in determining its Halal status.

Is E155 safe for consumption?

Yes, when consumed within the recommended limits, E155 is considered safe. However, always consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect any adverse reactions.

What are some common food products that contain E155?

E155 can be found in various food products, including candies, beverages, and baked goods, especially those that require a brown-to-black hue.

What is the CAS number of E155?

The CAS number is a unique identifier for chemical substances. For E155, it would depend on its specific chemical composition.

Is E155 banned in any country?

While E155 is approved for use by the European Union, it’s banned in several countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and even the United States.

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