Cochineal Test Added

Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) has added analysis of cochineal carmine to the range of colours, both natural and artificial, that it can detect by HPLC with UV detection. This development means RSSL can now detect cochineal carmine at levels in drinks down to 0.5 parts per million.

Cochineal carmine, also known as E120, is a permitted red colorant derived from carminic acid, which is produced by the cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) insect. There could be a number of reasons why food manufacturers want to check levels of cochineal carmine, either to confirm its absence or presence. "Clients ask us to analyse for a variety of colours, both permitted and not-permitted, natural and synthetic," says Marta Ahijado, who heads RSSL's Functional Ingredients Department. "They may be checking recovery for new product development purposes, claims substantiation, assessing competitor products, or attempting to verify that colours have not been used to boost the appearance of a key ingredient. The more sensitive we can make our methods, the better it is for our clients.

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