Purac researchers have said that the company’s natural purified lactic acid ingredient reduces the fading of natural red-purple colours from anthocyanins in acidified foods and beverages by up to 50% compared to commonly used citric acid.
Citing Leatherhead Food Research market data, the company said that the market for natural colours is booming, having grown 35% from 2005 to 2009, to reach a value of $529m. And natural colours now account for 36% of the total food colours market. Anthocyanins are found in fruits and vegetables such as purple carrots, blackcurrants and grapes.
Purac says its research shows the Purac Fit Plus ingredient can help retain colour vibrancy, a key quality indicator for consumers, in a range of applications, including drinks, confectionery and jams.
“These results are very exciting, especially for beverage and fruit preparation manufacturers,” said Hans Schinck, category manager, taste and nutrition. “We foresee continued growth in the natural colours market.“
Senior application technologist at Purac Inge Evers said: “There are various motives for acidifying foods and drinks, and the choice of acidulant can dramatically affect anthocyanin stability. Our research found that, compared to citric acid, Purac Fit Plus offers significant improvements in anthocyanin stability, especially when the products are exposed to light, as they are in the retail environment and at home.”
A number of factors can affect the stability of anthocyanins in food and drink, including pH, temperature, oxidation, light, and sugar or salt content.