Sector News

Chr. Hansen unveils latest heat-stable, plant-based colors for confectionery

September 7, 2020
Food & Drink

Chr. Hansen has unveiled two new plant-based, heat-resilient coloring solutions for confectionery applications. One is a patent-pending liquid blue from spirulina, FruitMax Blue 1506 W, that remains “uniquely robust” in extremely hot candy mass.

The second is a yellow solution, FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS, which overcomes the challenges of off-notes within its turmeric-based formulation.

Speaking on the launch of FruitMax Blue 1506 WS, Lotte Jeppesen, Global Industry Business Manager, Confectionery, details: “Some of the best spirulina-based products, until now, needed to be pre-dispersed at production, which can be messy, difficult and inefficient for the producers. We have seen a built-up demand for precisely this product – it’s an easy and convenient solution for all types of boiled sweets and it performs well in both sugar-free and sugar-based applications.”

Blue is a popular color for fruit flavors like blueberry or fun flavors like bubblegum and blue raspberry, whereas most colored mint lozenges benefit from a blue blend to achieve flavors like wintergreen and cool mint, Chr. Hansen highlights.

Blue, however, is notoriously scarce in the natural color palette and there is only one globally accepted natural source of blue color, the company flags. It comes from spirulina, also well-known in the food supplement market as a superfood. Stable in many applications, standard spirulina formulations meet their match in the tough production conditions of boiled candy. If manufacturers with global ambitions cannot use spirulina, their only option may be artificial colors.

Previously, Pantone hailed “Classic Blue” as its color of the year for 2020 in line with a rising industry trend for vibrant blue hues and cerulean tints in food and beverage applications. In line with this sentiment, “Shades of Aqua” will be a key food and beverage color trend for 2020, according to a forecast made by GNT Group.

In sugar-based categories, natural and cleaner formulations are growingly prevalent. Hard candy is perhaps the most price-sensitive confectionery category, but also in this segment, consumers are increasingly wanting natural and healthy ingredients; in even their most indulgent moments, Chr. Hansen notes.

“We’re excited to put a product on the market that caters to this need. Our new patent-pending solution will be especially appealing to health-conscious brands using other natural ingredients, like menthol in lozenges,” Jeppesen explains.

Turmeric pigment-free of off-notes
When developing FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS, special attention was placed on minimizing the off-taste that can accompany turmeric. Yellow is the most-used color in many applications, both to produce yellow but also as a blend to make green and orange and as a color brightener.

“Turmeric is a well-liked ingredient. It’s popularity as a color, flavor and functional ingredient continues to grow. Consumers like to see it on ingredients labels and manufacturers like to use it for precisely the same reason,” Chr. Hansen remarks.

With a well-established range of natural color products, Chr. Hansen Natural Colors now offers a coloring foods turmeric that can be used across applications such as confectionery, ice cream, snacks, bakery and meals. Special attention has been placed on minimizing the off-taste that can accompany turmeric. FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS is suitable for a wide variety of non-transparent packaged foods, as turmeric is well-known for light sensitivity.

“We’ve tested the stability of FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS extensively, and are pleased with the outcome,” says Jerome Raudin, Director for Global Marketing at Chr. Hansen. “There are many good applications for this product, but ice cream, hard candy, brioche and extruded snacks come to mind as particularly suitable as the color is very robust to hard temperatures. We look forward to introducing our new FruitMax Yellow to the market.”

For legislative reasons, FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS is likely to find its core markets in Europe, Latin America and APAC, notes Chr. Hansen. It is fully compliant with the EU Coloring foodstuffs guidelines and therefore is a clean label color that can be listed as turmeric extract.

It is one of the few raw materials that produces a bright yellow, whereas many natural colors like beta-carotene and even orange carrot tend to make warmer tones. And that’s just the story of color additives. When it comes to coloring foods, safflower is the only alternative that can produce a bright cold yellow; turmeric is a cost-effective alternative to safflower and in some cases to orange carrot as well, the company notes.

In similar moves, natural colors segment player GNT Group recently expanded its range of yellow Exberry Coloring Foods with a new powder made from company-cultivated carrots for a brilliant yellow color shade in a wide range of applications.

By: Benjamin Ferrer

Source: Food Ingredients First

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