Structural formula of carmine


What is it?

“Carmine also called cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake or carmine lake, natural red 4,[1] C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminium salt of carminic acid; it is also a general term for a particularly deep-red color. The pigment is produced from some scale insects such as the cochineal scale and certain Porphyrophora species (Armenian cochineal and Polish cochineal).” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Carmine is derived from animals. It is sourced from the scale of insects such as the cochineal.

The substance is on the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Animal-derived Ingredients List. PETA writes that carmine is the “Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly, 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye.”

How is it used?

This substance is extracted from the cochineal insects because of its intense red color.

Carmine is common to find in various foods, beverages, paints, medications, and cosmetics. It is basically possible to find it in all kinds of products, from candy to artificial flowers, which has a red, ruby-red or deep-red color.

In cosmetics* it has been found in products such as shampoo, rouge, lipstick, and nail polish.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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