Food anaphylaxis following ingestion of carmine

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1995 May;74(5):427-30.


Background: The risk of sensitization to reactive dyes is well established. The clinical situation is caused most often by synthetic azo dyes and triphenylmethane derivatives but natural dyes such as carmine extracted from dried female insects, Coccus cacti (cochineal), have been incriminated.

Objective: Study of a case of anaphylaxis after ingestion of yogurt to establish the responsibility of carmine.

Method: Case report of a patient who received skin prick test and leukocyte histamine release test with carmine and yogurt.

Conclusions: This case provided evidence of an IgE-dependent mechanism and draws attention to the triggering dose of carmine (1 mg) although the acceptable daily intake is up to 5.0 mg per kg of body weight.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Basophils / immunology
  • Carmine / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Histamine Release
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Skin Tests
  • Yogurt / adverse effects


  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Carmine