E133 – Brilliant Blue FCF

Other names for the additive (synonyms)

E 133, Brilliant Blue FCF, E-133

General Information

The Brilliant Blue FCF (E133 food additive) is a Triarylmethane colorant obtained from  the coal tar by organic synthesis.

The molecular formula of the E133 colorant: C37H34N2Na2O9S3.

The E133 additive is a red-blue powder that is difficult to be soluble in water.

Influence on the body


In the human body,  the E133 colorant is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and 95% of the absorbed colorant comes out of the body along with the remains of food. Besides, by reacting with certain bile pigments, the E133 food additive can give green color to the remains of human life.

The E133 additive can cause asphyxiation attacks in asthmatics and allergic reactions, especially in people sensitive to aspirin. At present, the research of E133 colorant for other side effects are actively conducted.


At the same time, one of the research conducted on laboratory rats showed that the Brilliant Blue FCF additive can help in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.


In the food industry,  the E133 colorant is often used in combination with tartrazine (E102 food additive) to obtain various tints of green color. Blue Brilliant FCF is used as a colorant in the food industry to produce ice cream, gelatin, desserts, some sweets and soft drinks. Less often the E133 additive is found in dairy products and breakfast cereal.

Besides the food industry, Blue Brilliant FCF is used in cosmetic products (included in creams, shampoos, deodorants, hair dyes, etc.).


Blue Brilliant FCF colorant (E133 additive) is approved for use for the foodstuff production in the territory of the Russian Federation by the order of Rostekhregulirovaniye dated December 29, 2005. Although countries such as Belgium, France, Denmark, Norway, Germany and some others have bans on the use of the E133 due to possible adverse effects of the health of some people.

The E133 additive is also allowed for use in the food industry in Ukraine.