FOOD COLOUR SOLUTIONS

PRIMARY FOOD COLOURS AND BLENDED FOOD COLOURS

Globally, manufacturers of food are looking more at natural colours as possible alternatives to synthetic colours. The demand for natural colours has increased with consumers becoming more conscious about additives, and requiring products to be natural as possible. Some natural colours are extracts and can therefore be labelled without E numbers – making them “perfect additives”. Even better, some natural colours allow for health claims – for instance, antioxidant properties.

Primary Colours :

Blended Colours :

Our new applications laboratory is available to shade and colour match to specific requirements and /or Pantone references.

NATURAL COLOURS FROM QUANTUM COLOURS

Globally, manufacturers of food are looking more at natural colours as possible alternatives to synthetic colours. The demand for natural colours has increased with consumers becoming more conscious about additives, and requiring products to be natural as possible. Some natural colours are extracts and can therefore be labelled without E numbers – making them “perfect additives”. Even better, some natural colours allow for health claims – for instance, antioxidant properties.

However, all is not perfect when formulating with natural colours:

Stability – in some formulations, use of natural colours is limited due to UV, formulation compatibility (heat, fruit acids, aeration of bulk, preservative system, high sheer, etc), pH, etc. A good example is enocianin, which has a red to violet-red colour at a pH below 3.5; at a higher pH, the colour shifts to a more bluish-violet. Another example is annatto extract, which is not stable with some of the calcium salts and is also pH-sensitive.

Percentage inclusion – in most instances, more natural colour material must be is used compared to synthetic colours to get to the same level of colour intensity, as the active dye content of primary synthetic colours is much higher.

Cost – most natural colours are slightly more expensive per unit, depending on the colour in question, compared to synthetic colours.

Minimum pack size – it is important to check the pack size of the material as one has to be able to consume it all before the expiry date.

Storage – most natural colours require specific controlled storage conditions that also, in some instances, indirectly add to the cost.

Colour pallet limitations – natural colours are limited when looking at the colour pallet available from synthetic colours. Blending some natural colours to achieve specific shades might also prove to be challenging in various ways.

The extraction process used – it is important to know the extraction processes for the natural colours, which may result in some colours not being kosher.

Purity – some natural colours are modified using complex formations, ion exchange and saponification, and it is important that they meet purity criteria and satisfy legislation both for purity and use.