In September 2009, Food Review covered the dramatic rise of natural colours in the food industry. As the impact of the Southampton report filters down, food manufacturers across the world have determinedly been reformulating their products to replace synthetic colours with natural colours.
Locally, Nestle has removed artificial colours from Smarties and Woolworths has launched a range of sweets which boast natural colours and natural flavourants. These are just the tip of the ice-berg. Overseas, retailers in several markets are phasing out foods which contain the criticised artificial colours. This is happening because of an increasing consumer preference for food free from synthetic colours – a food additive that is linked with hyperactivity in children. While there seems to have been a great success with developing bright natural colours, so far producers of panned confectionery products such as chewing gum and chocolate dragées have had no option but to colour their products with titanium dioxide (E171 in Europe). This is a titanium-derived white colour produced by synthesis. Chr. Hansen has just introduced a unique natural alternative based on calcium carbonate which is approved in Europe as a food colour (E170) and classified as a natural colour by NATCOL, the Natural Food Colours Association. Currently in the US calcium carbonate is classified as a food additive and can be applied as a coating agent.
‘We are very proud to be able to offer this innovative colour solution to confectionery companies world-wide,’ says Ji Hoong Too, business development manager, Confectionery & Ice Cream, Chr. Hansen Colour Division. ‘Confectionery companies that are working on shifting to natural colours now have the opportunity to include the panned confectionery category in the shift. This innovation is an opportunity to cover an evident gap in the market. We have already filed a patent application for our solution and naturally we have significant commercial expectations for this cutting-edge innovation,’ says Too. Too believes that the innovation underlines Chr. Hansen’s position as the colour supplier driving the global market expansion by converting the food colour market from synthetic to natural solutions.
CapColors White 100 WSS -P is an extension of the CapColors range. CapColors use encapsulation technology for increased resistance to light, pH and oxidation, making them ideal for applications where bright colour is needed. Their increased intensity and brightness ensures that they are able to withstand the demanding food production processes. At ProSweets in Cologne earlier this year, Chr Hansen focused on its four new CapColors, namely Yellow, Green, and Black in addition to the White. The other new CapColors are based on turmeric, chlorophyllin (derived from spinach and other natural chlorophyllin sources) and carbo vegetabilis (vegetable charcoal), respectively.