The Teratogenic Effects of Tartrazine, Food Dye, on the Development of Chick Embryos

  • Kunlathida Seelarak
  • Vasana Plakornkul
  • Jantima Roongruangchai
  • Yadaridee Viravud
  • Thanaporn Rungruang
Keywords: Tartrazine, Teratogenic Effects, Chick Embryos


Tartrazine, a synthetic yellow powder, is used in various components of food and non-food products as well as pharmaceutical products. In addition, the consumption of tartrazine during pregnancy can generate reactive oxygen species which induce embryotoxic and teratogenic effects in the rat fetuses. However, some previous studies have shown that tartrazine does not cause teratogenic potential. This study was to investigate the effects of tartrazine on the development of chick embryos. The 120 white leghorn fertilized eggs were divided into 2 groups: the control group, injected with 0.9% normal saline solution (NSS) and the treated group, injected with tartrazine at 1.0 mg/ml, 1.5 mg/ml and 2.0 mg/ml in 0.9% NSS via the yolk sac. The embryotoxic of tartrazine can cause mortality effect in some embryos. However, the survival embryos were investigated the teratogenic effect of tartrazine using total mount technique. The third day chick embryos showed abnormal formation of heart, limb, eye, and brain with the prominent organ abnormalities including microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and anencephaly. Therefore, tartrazine should be avoided during pregnancy.


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