A selective gradient ion-pair reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method for the simultaneous quantitative determination of seven synthetic water-soluble food colorants (Tartrazine E102, Quinoline Yellow E104, Sunset Yellow E110, Carmoisine E122, Ponceau 4R E124, Erythrosine E127, Carmine E132 and Brilliant Blue FCF E133) was developed. Analysis were performed on 125×4.6 mm i.d. Merck Lichrosher 100 RP C-18 (5 µm ) column. The flow rate of the mobile phase was 1.0 mL min 1 and the injection volume was 50 µL. The mobile phase consisted of water:acetonitrile (50:50 v v 1) Containing 0.35 M (1-Hexadecyl) Trimethylammonium Bromide (CTAB) and buffered to pH 7.5 (mobile phase A) and water acetonitrile (50:50 v v 1) (mobile phase B). Successful separation and quantitative determination was obtained for all the colorants using an optimized gradient elution program. Detection limits were 1.59 (E142) and 22.1 (E124) ppm, with relative standard deviations in the range 0.37%. The method was applied to the determination of colorants in various types of drinks and food, such as carbonated fruit flavored drinks, concentrated fruit flavored drinks, jams and sugar confectionery.