Definition of tartrazine in English:



  • [mass noun] A brilliant yellow synthetic dye derived from tartaric acid and used to colour food, drugs, and cosmetics.

    • ‘The additives tartrazine, sunset yellow and ponceau are often used to give the dish its characteristic fiery red glow.’
    • ‘E102, also known as tartrazine, gives food a yellow/orange colour.’
    • ‘All samples contained one to three kinds of artificial colours, including tartrazine, sunset yellow FCF, red 2G, carmoisine and curcumin.’
    • ‘The study reported that benzoic acid and tartrazine (yellow food colouring E102) had a bad effect on nearly eight out of ten children involved.’
    • ‘In the first week all the children only ate foods that were free of artificial additives, including colourings such as tartrazine, sunset yellow and carmoisine, and the preservative sodium benzoate.’


Late 19th century: from French tartre tartar + azo- + -ine.