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Template:Chembox E numberTemplate:Chembox SolubilityInWater
IUPAC name (2Z,6S)-6-β-D-Glucopyranosyl -2-[ [(3S) -3-β-D-glucopyranosyl-2,3,4-trihydroxy -5-[(2E)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl) -1-oxo-2-propenyl] -6-oxo-1,4-cyclohexadien-1-yl]methylene] -5,6-dihydroxy -4-[(2E)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl) -1-oxo-2-propenyl] -4-cyclohexene-1,3-dione
Other names Carthamine
Carthamic acid
C.I. Natural Red 26
Safflower red
3D model (JSmol)
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Molar mass 910.78
Appearance Red powder
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Carthamin is a natural red pigment derived from safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), earlier known as carthamine.[2] It is used as a dye and a food coloring. As a food additive, it is known as Natural Red 26.

Safflower has been cultivated since ancient times, and carthamin was used as a dye in ancient Egypt.[2] It was used extensively in the past for dyeing wool for the carpet industry in European countries and to create cosmetics for Geisha and Kabuki artists in Japan.[3] It competed with the early synthetic dye fuchsine as a silk dye after fuchsine's 1859 discovery.[4]


  1. Merck Index, 11th Edition, 1876.
  2. 2.0 2.1 De Candolle, Alphonse. (1885.) Origin of cultivated plants. D. Appleton & Co.: New York, p. 164. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  3. Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower), a commercially viable dye for textiles. Vankar, Padma S.; Tiwari, Vandana; Shanker, Rakhi; Shivani. Asian Dyer (2004), 1(4), 25-27.
  4. Chevreul, M. E. (July 1860). "Note sur les étoffes de soie teintes avec la fuchsine, et réflexions sur le commerce des étoffes de couleur." Répertoire de Pharmacie, tome XVII, p. 62. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.