Colors & Flavors Special

Coloring foodstuffs: perfect color, perfect label

By Nathalie Pauleau

- Last updated on GMT

'Superfood' spirulina is an ideal clean-label ingredient for the confectionery sector. Pic: GettyImages
'Superfood' spirulina is an ideal clean-label ingredient for the confectionery sector. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags: colors, Flavors

Coloring foodstuffs originate from edible raw materials (fruits, vegetables, flowers or micro-algae) that have not undergone selective extraction of the naturally occurring pigments – and this year’s on-trend shade is aqua.

When it comes to clean label trends, the confectionery sector is no exception. Parents know that brightly coloured candies and other treats often come with less desirable ingredient lists. With rising concerns about artificial colors and their effects on children, parents are becoming increasingly careful about what they give their kids, and labels are being simplified to comply with these demands.

For manufacturers looking for the simplest, most authentic and reassuring ingredient list possible, coloring foodstuffs are becoming the norm. Few things are easier to understand than the names of fruits and vegetables, and even in confectionery applications, they can offer a healthy glow.

Confectionery can present some specific challenges for clean-label; significant expertise is required to find the right shade while ensuring stability and formulation consistency

Coloring foodstuffs originate from edible raw materials (fruits, vegetables, flowers or micro-algae) that have not undergone selective extraction of the naturally occurring pigments. Coloring foods are the cleanest color solutions available on the market and can be used to create a large palette of shades from pastels to intense and bright colours that can easily replace their artificial counterparts.

Finding the right shade, naturally

Confectionery can present some specific challenges for clean-label; significant expertise is required to find the right shade while ensuring stability and formulation consistency. Fortunately, Naturex, part of Givaudan, has very specific knowledge and experience in the confectionery sector and can support clients in developing a clean-label formulation that’s nearly indiscriminable from artificial solutions.

Created by Naturex’s Spring lab application laboratory, the gummies (pictured) were made using three different color solutions . All three solutions provide vibrant red colors, but with very different implications in terms of labeling.

naturex colors
Natural or artificial: can you tell the difference? From left to right: Natural red color, Vegebrite red colouring foodstuff, Allura red E129 (Red#40),

Color trends: vibrant blues

In the age of Instagram, vibrant colours have never been so coveted. Creating natural vibrant blues has traditionally been of the biggest challenges in developing clean-label formulations, but these challenges are now being overcome through the use of spirulina.

Spirulina is a microscopic freshwater blue-green alga, often listed as a “superfood​”, with blue colouring properties derived from the phycocyanin pigment. Naturex, inaugurated a spirulina production facility in 2019 at its site in Avignon, France. Designed to meet the growing global demand for clean label blues and greens, the expansion has meant a significant increase in manufacturing capacity. The facility now manufactures the latest blue colouring foodstuff solution: Vegebrite Ultimate Spirulina.

Made using a gentle, proprietary, water-based extraction process, Vegebrite Ultimate Spirulina is a 100% natural, non-GMO solution delivering clean-label friendly, trehalose-free formulations available in various concentrations and formats. It can be used in a full range of applications including candies, gummies, chocolates, and panned confectionery to create a full palette of vibrant and pastel blues. It can also be combined with Naturex’s natural yellows to expand the possibilities to a full range of greens.

With a rainbow of high-performance, natural and authentic colouring foodstuffs, today’s confectionery manufacturers no longer have to choose between perfect color and perfect label.

  • Nathalie Pauleau is global product manager, Natural Colours, Naturex​, part of Givaudan

Related topics: Ingredients

Related news

Show more