Do Smarties Have Red Dye 40? (Answered)

According to the Smarties website, this candy is free of the nine major food allergens. However, are they also free of synthetic dyes such as Red 40? You’ll find the answer below.

Keep in mind that the information below is for the U.S. Smarties and not for the U.K. Smarties that are similar to M&Ms.

Is There Red Dye 40 In Smarties?

Yes, Smarties contain Red 40 and other synthetic dyes. This includes its Original, Tropical, and X-treme Sour flavors.

You can verify if Smarties have Red Dye 40 by reviewing the product ingredients. The manufacturer is require to list the food colorings used in its candies in the list of ingredients.

As you can see below, Red 40 Lake is in all listed flavors.

Smarties ProductRed Dye 40 (Yes or No)?Ingredients
OriginalYesDextrose, Citric Acid, Calcium Stearate, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Colors (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 2 Lake).
TropicalYesDextrose, Citric Acid, Calcium Stearate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Colors (Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Blue 2 Lake)
X-treme SourYesDextrose, Citric Acid, Calcium Stearate, Artificial Flavors, Colors Colors: Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 2 Lake

Is Red 40 Safe?

Red Dye 40 is a synthetic food dye made from petroleum that is widely used in foods and beverages to enhance naturally occurring colors and to create visually appealing products

While this dye has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption, there are certainly controversies surrounding it.

One controversy about the safety of Red 40 is that there is evidence suggesting an increase in hyperactivity with children who have attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHD).

Preliminary evidence indicates that consuming Red 40 might make symptoms of ADHD worse. Studies have shown minor effects, but there is no evidence that consuming these dyes causes ADHD.

Furthermore, allergies are also a concern with this dye. Allergic reactions to Red 40 are relatively rare, but they can occur in some people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling, asthma, sneezing, migraines, and other related issues.

Anderson, A. (n.d.). What is Red No. 40? WebMD. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from,Is%20Red%2040%20Safe%3F,is%20safe%20for%20public%20consumption.