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Citrus Red 2, Citrus Red No. 2, C.I. Solvent Red 80, or C.I. 12156 is an artificial dye. As a food dye, it has been permitted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1956 to color the skin of oranges.[1][2][3] Citrus Red 2 is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a group 2B carcinogen, a substance "possibly carcinogenic to humans".[4]

Citrus Red 2
Citrus Red 2.png
Citrus Red 2 ball-and-stick.png
IUPAC name
Other names
Citrus Red No. 2, C.I. Solvent Red 80, C.I. 12156, E121
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.026.162
E number E121 (colours)
Molar mass 308.337 g·mol−1
Appearance Orange to yellow solid or a dark red powder
Melting point 156 °C (313 °F; 429 K)
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., waterHealth code 0: Exposure under fire conditions would offer no hazard beyond that of ordinary combustible material. E.g., sodium chlorideReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references


Citrus Red 2 is an orange to yellow solid or a dark red powder with a melting point of 156 °C. It is not soluble in water, but is readily soluble in many organic solvents.


In the United States, Citrus Red 2 is sometimes used to color oranges. It is only permitted to be used on the peel. It is permitted when the fruit is intended to be eaten, but is not permitted when the fruit is intended or used for processing, for example to manufacture orange juice.[2] It is used on some oranges from the US state of Florida but is banned in the US states of California and Arizona. It has been linked to health risks in studies using rats and mice.[5]


  1. ^ Anonymous. 1988. Florida Citrus Fruit Laws. Florida Statutes. 601.
  2. ^ a b "Code of Federal Regulations: Title 21, Section 74.302". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  3. ^ Hall, David J (1989). "Peel Disorders of Florida Citrus as Related to Growing Area and Color-add formulations". Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 102: 243–246.
  4. ^ Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, IARC
  5. ^ [1]