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Class: Azo
Ionisation: Acid

Chemical structure of Tartrazine

Common Name: Tartrazine
Suggested Name: Tartrazine
Other Names:

Acid yellow T Hydrazine yellow

C.I. Number: 19140
C.I. Name: Acid yellow 23
Color: Yellow
Solubility Aqueous: Soluble
Solubility Ethanol: Soluble
Absorption Maximum: 425 (Conn), 422 (Gurr)
Empirical Formula: C16H9N4O9S2Na3
Formula Weight: 534.385


Tartrazine is often used as a saturated solution in cellosolve (2-ethoxy ethanol) as the displacement dye to replace other (red) acid dyes while the tissue from which the other dye has been removed is stained yellow. Lendrum's phloxine tartrazine method for Paneth cell granules is a good example. It is rarely employed for other purposes, although it contrasts very well as a background stain with nuclei stained by nuclear fast red.


  1. R. D. Lillie.
    Conn’s Biological Stains
    Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD., U.S.A.
  2. Aldrich chemical catalogue, 1992
    Aldrich Chemical Company, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
  3. Susan Budavari, Editor,
    The Merck Index, Ed. 12
    Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA
  4. Edward Gurr, 1971
    Synthetic dyes in biology, medicine and chemistry
    Academic Press, London, England.