In this study, different concentrations of five food dyes (amaranth, patent blue, carminic acid, indigotine and erythrosine) have been evaluated for genotoxicity in the Somatic Mutation and Recombination Test (SMART) of Drosophila melanogaster. Standard cross was used in the experiment. Larvae including two linked recessive wing hair mutations were chronically fed at different concentrations of the test compounds in standard Drosophila Instant Medium. Feeding ended with pupation of the surviving larvae. Wings of the emerging adult flies were scored for the presence of spots of mutant cells which can result from either somatic mutation or somatic recombination. For the evaluation of genotoxic effects, the frequencies of spots per wing in the treated series were compared to the control group, which was distilled water. The present study shows that carminic acid and indigotine demonstrated negative results while erythrosine demonstrated inconclusive results. In addition 25 mg mL(-1) concentration of patent blue and 12.5, 25 and 50 mg mL(-1) concentrations of amaranth demonstrated positive results in the SMART. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.