A simple membrane filtration procedure for separation-enrichment of Sudan orange G is presented. The method is based on the adsorption of Sudan orange G on a cellulose acetate filter and its elution from the membrane with 10 mL of ethanol. Sudan orange G in the eluent was determined by UV-visible spectrophotometry at 388 nm. The effect of analytical conditions, including pH, flow rates and eluent, sample volume, type of membrane for quantitative preconcentration and separation of Sudan orange G were examined. The influences of matrix components on Sudan orange G recoveries were studied. The preconcentration factor was 125. The detection limit was 4.9 mu g L-1. The relative standard deviation was 4.3%. The presented procedure was applied to chili powder, chili sauce, tomato sauce, powdered beverage and water samples. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.