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Additives and excipients

Activated charcoal (e153)

Product code: P01040

Vegetable activated carbon is produced by the carbonisation of vegetable material such as wood and cellulose residues; this product is made of specially selected coconut shell. It is used as a food colourant and for cosmetic applications. This ingredient meets European specification E153 and is known traditionally as vegetable black. It consists essentially of finely divided carbon. It may contain minor amounts of nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen and some moisture may be absorbed on the product after manufacture (up to 5%).

The EFSA ANS Panel has providing a scientific opinion, evaluating the safety of vegetable carbon. The opinion can be found here:

This ingredient is regulated as a food additive; in the EU maximum levels for food additives are laid out in Regulation 1333/2008. The maximum permitted levels would depend on the category of the food.


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