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Cabot Corporation Expands NORIT® E 153 Activated Carbon Colorants Portfolio for Food and Cosmetics Applications

New NORIT® A ULTRA E 153 activated carbon delivers highest coloring performance for applications that require the darkest black color

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2017-- Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) announces an expanded offering for its NORIT® E 153 activated carbon series used in the coloring of a wide range of food and cosmetics applications. The new NORIT® A ULTRA E 153 activated carbon delivers the highest coloring performance for applications that require the darkest black color. The series now comprises three grades of activated carbon with high, medium and low coloring power. The full range of NORIT E 153 activated carbon colorants enables customers to achieve the desired color necessary for their formulations and end products.

In order to achieve the desired black color, food manufactures often choose between activated carbon and caramel, whereas cosmetics manufacturers often choose between activated carbon and other materials such as iron oxide. In both applications, activated carbon is the preferred choice. As a food colorant, activated carbon imparts a darker black which does not degrade over time like caramel. In cosmetics applications, activated carbon imparts a very dark black and has good flow characteristics, whereas the alternatives often have poorer dispersion characteristics, higher impurities such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations or lighter black color on end-use products.

The European Union, Canada, and some countries in Asia have determined that high purity activated carbon can be used in foods and cosmetics as a black colorant as it is odorless, tasteless and non-toxic. The NORIT E 153 activated carbon series can be used as a color additive in foodstuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as it is made of 100 percent vegetable-derived carbon that is produced by the carbonization of vegetable material. All NORIT E 153 activated carbon grades meet the stringent purity requirements for food additives included in E.C. Commission Regulation No. 231/2012, and in the EU, the NORIT E 153 activated carbon series is labelled as CI 77268:1 for cosmetic applications.

The new NORIT A ULTRA E 153 activated carbon provides the highest coloring power in the series and delivers deep black color for applications that require the darkest black. The narrow particle size distribution of NORIT A ULTRA E 153 activated carbon provides improved flow and rheology that provide consistent and reproducible coloring power in end products. This product expands the portfolio, which currently consists of Cabot’s medium coloring power grade NORIT® A SPECIAL E 153 activated carbon and low coloring power grade NORIT® SX SUPER E 153 activated carbon. Due to their use in consumer products, Cabot has improved the purity of the full NORIT E 153 activated carbon series by adopting very stringent specifications for PAHs, metals and micro-biology.

“With the launch of NORIT A ULTRA E 153 activated carbon, our customers can now choose from a complete colorant portfolio from high to low coloring power grades, to enable them to achieve their desired performance and color while complying with strict industry requirements,” said David Flannery, global segment manager for Pharmaceuticals, Cabot Corporation.

The NORIT E 153 activated carbon series of colorants can be used in a variety of food and cosmetics applications to:

  • Offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, moisture and storage conditions
  • Correct natural variations in color
  • Enhance black colors that occur naturally
  • Provide black color to colorless foods/materials
  • Make products more attractive and appetizing
  • Allow consumers to identify products on sight (e.g. licorice)

Samples are available upon request at for customers that wish to have new standards.


Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) is a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The company is a leading provider of rubber and specialty carbons, activated carbon, fumed metal oxides, masterbatches and conductive compoundsinkjet colorantscesium formate drilling fluids and aerogel. For more information on Cabot, please visit the company’s website at:

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in the press release regarding Cabot's business that are not historical facts are forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Source: Cabot Corporation 

Cabot Corporation
Vanessa Craigie, 617-342-6015
Corporate Communications
Steve Delahunt, 617-342-6255
Investor Relations