This paper proposed a novel methodology for the quantification of an artificial dye, sunset yellow (SY), in soft beverages, using image analysis (RGB histograms) and partial least squares regression. The developed method presented many advantages if compared with alternative methodologies, such as HPLC and UV/VIS spectrophotometry. It was faster, did not require sample pretreatment steps or any kind of solvents and reagents, and used a low cost equipment, a commercial flatbed scanner. This method was able to quantify SY in isotonic drinks and orange sodas, in the range of 7.8–39.7mgL−1, with relative prediction errors lower than 10%. A multivariate validation was also performed according to the Brazilian and international guidelines. Linearity, accuracy, sensitivity, bias, prediction uncertainty and a recently proposed tool, the β-expectation tolerance intervals, were estimated. The application of digital images in food analysis is very promising, opening the possibility for automation.