Guide to help industry shelve artificial colors

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: E number

Color firm DD Williamson has launched a guide for food and beverage
processors to help them replace color additives with natural

The Kentucky-based firm said that more and more consumers are demanding natural colorants. And in other places in the world, such as Europe, additive safety has recently been in the spotlight. Such guidance will make it easier for processors to see what artificial colors can be replaced with which natural alternative. DD Williamson said it is happy to work with any company to find a suitable replacement. The firm said replacements are not always straightforward, for example, there is no single replacement for Allura Red AC, also known as Red 40. To find one which works requires a thorough understanding of the specific application, a spokesperson said. Red 40 can be found in beverages and food, but a replacement for food may not be suitable for a liquid application. In the states the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of issuing permission for them to be used, and has so far approved more than 30 color additives. Campbell Barnum, global vice president of branding and market development for DD Williamson, said: "More and more food and beverage processors are now formulating with natural alternatives to synthetic (certified) food color additives in response to changing consumer preferences. "Both food product labeling regulations and today's mass media have increased consumer awareness of food ingredients." ​ Various published studies have caused many consumers to be concerned about the consumption of synthetic color additives, DD Williamson said. Industry guides on how to move away from additives come at a time when the safety aspect of such products have been scrutinized. In the UK food and beverage manufacturers committed themselves to removing six color additives from their products by the end of 2008. The Southampton study also presented evidence that artificial colorants increased hyperactivity in children. The six colours are sunset yellow (E110), tartrazine (E102), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124) quinoline yellow (E104), and allura red (E129). The results of the European Food Safety Authority review on additive safety could also have repercussions across the industry, as companies looking to use additive-containing products would have to adhere to any rulings. A judgment has so far been made on one additive, Red 2G, which has now been banned.

Related topics: Ingredients

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