Is E161g Halal or Haram?

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Assalamualaikum brothers and sisters! Let’s have a chat about E161g and its halal status, just like we’re sitting down together. You might be wondering, “What is E161g, and is it permissible in our halal diet?”

Well, it’s a great question, and we’re here to unravel the mystery together.

Key Takeaways

📌 E161g, also known as Canthaxanthin, is a food colorant that makes your food look reddish-orange. It’s found in various foods like seafood, drinks, and candies.
📌 Pure E161g is considered Halal. But its status depends on the other ingredients in processed foods. It’s essential to check the whole list of ingredients for compliance with Halal dietary rules.

What is E161g?

E161g, commonly referred to as Canthaxanthin, is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that is primarily found in various marine organisms, fungi, and specific plants. This vibrant reddish-orange pigment is synthesized by these organisms as a protective mechanism against the harmful effects of sunlight and oxidative damage.

In the food industry, Canthaxanthin is prized for its ability to impart a visually appealing reddish-orange tint to a variety of products, ranging from seafood to beverages and even confectioneries. Its use as a colorant is not just limited to the culinary world; it also finds applications in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors.

Chemical Structure

is e161g halal

Canthaxanthin, or E161g, is predominantly made up of trans-ß-carotene-4,4′-dione. It’s a dark, crystalline powder that, when used in foods, gives them a distinctive color. But it’s not just about the looks; the chemical structure of E161g ensures it’s safe for consumption.

What Is E161g Made From?

The origin of Canthaxanthin is quite fascinating. While it can be found in nature, the majority of Canthaxanthin used in the food industry is produced synthetically in laboratories.

This ensures a consistent quality and supply for industrial applications. Natural sources of this pigment include the green alga “Dunaliella salina,” certain edible mushrooms, and the feathers of some birds like flamingos, which derive their distinctive pink hue from their Canthaxanthin-rich diet.

In the context of food, it’s essential to note that while Canthaxanthin is generally recognized as safe, excessive consumption can lead to a condition called canthaxanthin retinopathy, where yellow deposits form in the eyes.

Sources of Canthaxanthin

Synthetic: Produced in laboratories for consistent quality and supply.


  • Dunaliella salina (Green Alga)
  • Edible mushrooms
  • Feathers of birds like flamingos.

Possible Side Effects

Like any other substance, E161g has its set of possible side effects. While it’s generally recognized as safe, it’s always a good idea to be informed.

Potential Side Effects of E161g (Canthaxanthin):

  • Canthaxanthin Retinopathy: Yellow crystal-like deposits in the retina.
  • Canthaxanthin-induced Erythropoietic Protoporphyria: Increased sensitivity to sunlight resulting in skin rashes.

Regulations and Guidelines

E161g, or Canthaxanthin, is regulated by several international bodies. The Codex Alimentarius Commission has adopted a maximum permitted level (MPL) for E161g in more than 30 food categories.

This is outlined in the General Standard of Food Additives (GSFA). Additionally, the EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources has provided a scientific opinion on the reevaluation of canthaxanthin (E 161 g) as a food additive.

Is E161g Halal or Haram?

E161g is considered halal when it’s in its pure, natural state. However, its halal status can become questionable when it’s incorporated into processed foods. Whether E161g remains halal depends on the specific ingredients it’s combined with.

When E161g is used in an emulsion, its halal status hinges on the components used in the mixing process. If it’s encapsulated, it’s only deemed halal when the encapsulant is prepared correctly.

In essence, E161g itself is halal, but ensuring a food item adheres to a halal diet requires a careful examination of all the accompanying ingredients.

Find out more:
Is E161b Halal or Haram?
Is E162 Halal or Haram?

Final Words

E161g is an intriguing substance with a range of uses in the food industry. Its halal status depends on various factors, but with the right information, you can make informed choices. Stay curious and keep questioning!

Allahu A’lam (Allah Knows Best)


What is the source of E161g?

E161g, or Canthaxanthin, is derived from natural sources and is used in animal feeds to color the meat of poultry, salmon, trout, and the yolks of eggs.

Is E161g safe for consumption?

Yes, E161g is generally recognized as safe. However, always adhere to recommended consumption levels and consult with professionals if unsure.

What are some common food products that contain E161g?

E161g can be found in tomato products, fruit drinks, sausage products, baked goods, and some pharmaceuticals.

What is the CAS number of E161g?

The CAS number of E161g is 514-78-3.

Is E161g banned in any country?

While specific bans on E161g weren’t found during this research, it’s essential to check local regulations and guidelines to ensure its safety and legality in your region.


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