Chr Hansen makes natural white for confectionery

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags E number Chr hansen

Chr Hansen has developed a new natural white colour from calcium carbonate, which it claims is the first non-chemical alternative to titanium dioxide available to coated confectionery and chewing gum manufacturers.

Until now, titanium dioxide (E171) has been used as the standard white colour in coated chocolates such as M&Ms, and in hard shell chewing gums. Even when there is a different colour on the outside, layers of white are used beneath to make the top colour stand out.

Titanium dioxide, which is also used in paints, is “very cheap and very white”​, said Lionel Schmitt, vice president of commercial development in the colour division at Chr Hansen.

Schmitt told that although there is no food safety issue – it is an approved food colour – confectionery makers have been looking to switch all chemical colours for natural colours, especially since the publication of the notorious Southampton study, which linked certain cocktails of colours to hyperactivity in children.

White had posed a particular problem, and has led to manufacturers requesting a natural solution. Previous efforts using rice starch have not yielded a white that was bright enough for food manufacturers, Schmitt said.

After dedicating about two years to the problem, Chr Hansen is now launching CapColors White 100 WSS-P. The colouring uses calcium carbonate, which is already approved as a food colour in Europe (E170) and classified as a natural colour by Natcol, the Natural Food Colors Association.

But used alone, calcium carbonate gives products a grey colour. This led Chr Hansen to investigate microencapsulation using its encapsulation technology that gives greater resistance to light, pH and oxidation. Schmitt said that the research team had to adapt the encapsulation system to make it suitable for calcium carbonate.

Southampton fall-out

Schmitt said that far and away the biggest potential for the new colouring is from confectionery makers, although it may be used in some other products too, such as coffee whiteners.

And even though titanium dioxide is not one of the ‘Southampton six’ colours, that study has led to a wholesale drive by manufacturers to substitute natural colours for artificial in the last 18 months.

“Companies that are most advanced today still struggle with white colour”.

Related topics Ingredients

Related news

Related products

show more

Tap into the potential of better-for-you candy

Tap into the potential of better-for-you candy

Content provided by Valio | 08-May-2024 | White Paper

The confectionery industry is responding to the trend toward indulgent yet healthier sweets. Explore our Valio Bettersweet™ white paper to learn more about...

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Sustainable Syrups

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Sustainable Syrups

Content provided by Green Plains Inc. | 05-Apr-2024 | Infographic

Elevate your products with Green Plains’ premium, low carbon-intensity corn syrups. Drop-in replacements with an up to 40% lower carbon footprint than...

Machu Picchu Foods expands chocolate production lines

Machu Picchu Foods expands chocolate production lines

Content provided by Machu Picchu Foods: Contract manufacturer of chocolates and snacks | 02-Feb-2024 | Product Brochure

Leading Peruvian manufacturer Machu Picchu Foods debuts cutting-edge production lines for filled chocolate bars, truffles, and crispy wafer snacks.

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more