Identification of Synthetic Dyes in Traditional Juices and Beverages in Shiraz, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Food Hygiene, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kazerun Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kazerun, Iran

2 Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Chemical Evaluation and Toxicology Unit, Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Food dyes are a group of additives which are added to food products to provide a desirable appearance that can have various side effects and complications. This study investigated the frequency of dyes used in traditional juices and beverages in Shiraz, southern Iran.
Methods: In this experimental study totally, 70 random samples of juices and beverages with different flavors were prepared from Shiraz, Iran. After the dye extraction and purification using thin layer chromatography based on the retention factor (Rf) of the corresponding color, the samples
were analyzed and identified.
Results: Sixty percent of the samples did not have any dye, 32.85% contained legally permitted synthetic dyes and 7.15% consisted of 2 unauthorized synthetic dyes. The highest frequency of consumption of artificial colors was observed for pomegranate-flavored juices and the most common use of artificial color was the simultaneous combination of two colors, carmoisine and sunset yellow.
Conclusion: It was shown that in some traditional juices and drinks, artificial dyes are still used illegally, which is a warning sign for public health, especially for the children. Therefore, it is necessary to provide more supervision and continuous control over the supply products and to deal seriously with units breaking the law to minimize the use of artificial dyes.