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Chr. Hansen expands e-number free colouring range

By Oliver Nieburg , 28-Nov-2011

Chr. Hansen expands e-number free colouring range

Ingredients firm Chr. Hansen has doubled the number of products in its fruit colouring food stuffs range, which it said will allow manufacturers to diversify sweet confectionery products and keep an e-number free label.

Hansen’s Fruitmax range has been available for several years, but last week it announced that it would launch 14 new products to build on the 15 already in the series.

The colouring food stuffs have applications in wine gums, coated candy, hard-boiled candy and soft chewing candy such as caramels.

E-number free labels

Marianne Bundjaard told ConfectioneryNews.com: “We all see the trend from consumers wanting natural products. The big manufacturers have noticed the value of colouring foodstuffs.”

“They want to differentiate their products because they are pushed by retailers and they can also write a claim on the packaging,” she said.

Current legislation allows manufacturers to label colouring foodstuffs as containing no e-numbers.

“Consumers don’t see e-numbers” said Bundjaard. “They might see carrot concentrate or radish concentrate instead.”

“When you extract the pigment with water you can add something to stabilise it with citric acid for example so you don’t declare it as an e-number,” she continued.

Southampton study

Confectioners have been moving away from ‘unnatural’ colourings since a controversial study was published by the University of Southampton in 2007 linking six food dyes – the ‘Southampton Six’ – to hyperactivity in children.

The European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) gave an opinion that seemed to diminish the claim, but the European Parliament nevertheless ruled that products with the colours should include warning labels to say they “may have an effect on activity and attention in children”.

In the US however, the FDA Food Advisory Committee voted against recommending European-style warning labels.

Costs and processing

Bundjaard said Hansen’s Fruitmax range could be incorporated into existing processes without modification.

She said the cost was around the same level as similar offerings from Hansen’s competitors, but claimed Fruitmax would bring a better cost in use.

The range is available globally.

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