Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011

Allergy diet - colour low

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet that excludes foods containing artificial colours and certain natural colours.


Avoids the following additive colours:

  • 102 (tartrazine)
  • 107 (yellow 2G)
  • 110 (sunset yellow FCF)
  • 122 (carmoisine)
  • 123 (amaranth)
  • 124 (ponceau 4R)
  • 127 (erythrosine)
  • E128 (red 2G)
  • 129 (allura red AC)
  • 132 (indigotine)
  • 133 (brilliant blue FCF)
  • 142 (green S)
  • 150d (caramel 1V)
  • 151 (brilliant black PN)
  • 155 (brown HT)
  • 160b (annatto extracts)
  • 160c (capsanthin/paprika extract)

Note: The following colours are permitted: 100 (curcumin or turmeric), 150 (caramel), 160a (carotene).


Intolerance to artificial colours established by a medically supervised placebo-controlled challenge

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


It is not possible to provide a full list of all permitted commercial products; the following are general guidelines only. The ingredient lists of processed foods must be carefully and regularly scrutinised. If a product lists an ingredient as colour without a detailed additive description or code, the product should not be used in this diet.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishesAll plain cooked meat, poultry, fish and eggsCasserole dishes made with commercial sauces
Sauces, graviesPlain white sauce, tomato sauceGravies
Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceAll-
SoupsMost – check labelPumpkin, tomato, chicken noodle – check label
SandwichesAll sandwiches made with butter or colour-free margarine, or no margarine

Ham, silverside

Chutneys and pickles – check labels

Salads, dressings

Most salad ingredients

Plain salad dressing (oil and vinegar) and mayonnaise – check label

Ham, silverside

Commercial salad dressings

Breads, cereals

All breads

Most breakfast cereals

Some products with added fruit – check label

Butter, some margarines (for example PC Meadow Lea® margarine)

Honey, Vegemite™, marmalade, peanut butter

Most jams – check label

Most margarines

Jams with added colours

Hot breakfast choicesAll-
FruitAll fresh fruit and most canned fruitsSome canned fruit salads – check label
YoghurtPlain yoghurtFlavoured and fruit yoghurt

Home-made custard without colours

Ice-cream, puddings, cheesecake, creamy rice – check labels


Most commercial soft custards, toppings, mousses

Fruit cake

Milk and cheese

All plain milk

Most cheeses

Flavoured milk, milkshakes

Tea, coffee

Most juices (except some orange juices)

Lemonade, ginger ale

Orange juice with non-permitted colours added

Cordial, coloured soft drinks

Many nutrition supplements – check label

BiscuitsPlain biscuits-


  1. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. RPAH Elimination diet handbook. Sydney: RPAH; 2010.
  2. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Choosing the right stuff: the official shoppers’ guide to food additives and labels, kilojoules and fat content. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2007.
  3. Swain AR, Soutter VL, Loblay RH. Friendly food: the complete guide to avoiding allergies, additives and problem chemicals. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2004.
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