The Safety of Dyes Following the Sudan Red Incident

What is Sudan Red?

Sudan Red is a group of synthetic solvent-based red industrial dyes used for dyeing oils, greases, waxes, and plastics. It is characterized by its solubility in fats and oils but insolubility in water. Common Sudan red colorants include several red dyes such as Sudan Red I, Sudan Red II, Sudan Red III, and Sudan Red VI. As an industrial dye, it has been used consistently since its introduction in 1896 due to its affordability and resistance to fading. In industry, Sudan Red is widely used in solvents, gasoline, leather, flooring, and even fireworks as a color enhancer. It is also used in fields such as chemistry and biotechnology.

Sudan Red Dyeing Principles and Hazards

Sudan Red Dyeing Principle: Sudan Red is used in biological research to make lipids more visible. The principle of Sudan red dyeing is based on the fact that the solubility of the dye in fatty substances is higher than that in solvents. When Sudan Red comes into contact with fat-containing substances, a large number of chromosomes will enter the fat, causing these fat structures to turn a distinct red color.

According to research, the chemical structure of Sudan Red may cause harmful reactions in the human body, such as damaging the liver and other organs. It is even suspected of being carcinogenic, so its use in food is strictly prohibited.

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