Rising consumer demand for clean label ingredients has been a huge influence on the food industry. To offer suitable solutions for this growing market, producers of colours and flavours have committed major investments in creating natural alternatives to synthetic materials. Food ingredients Europe & Natural ingredients 2017 offers a clear overview of a sector that has developed like few others in the food and ingredients industries.
Solutions for an expanding and complex market
What began in the ‘80s with initial concerns about synthetic colours in food has led to today’s dominating demand for natural colours. Nearly 60 per cent of the total food colours market is now comprised of natural solutions, according to Future Market Insights.
In parallel, clean label has affected the global flavours market. Both colour and flavour producers have responded with innovation and investments in R&D. ‘Consumers are sceptical about artificial additives, especially those carrying E-numbers. They avoid products with long, complex ingredient lists and have a strong wish for greater naturalness in food,’ says Guido de Jager, head of group marketing at GNT. For suppliers, natural colours and flavours are part of their standard portfolio.
Nevertheless, achieving successful results while reverting back to all things natural, is far from simple. Attaining clean label status requires standardised raw materials of the highest quality – a challenge when it comes to ingredients made by mother nature. Stability concerns still exist around long-term or high temperature warehousing. Paul Janthial, director of the food & beverage business unit at Naturex, says, ‘Every natural pigment has its own specific properties in terms of heat or pH sensitivity, light stability and solubility. In order to find the right solution efficiently, the most important thing is not to focus only on the desired shade or color intensity but to share from the very beginning all relevant details about the application matrix and the process applied to it.’