Natural food colorants present challenges

Food scientists and manufacturers face a number of hurdles in identifying and effectively using natural food colorants.

By INSTITUTE OF FOOD TECHNOLOGISTS (IFT)
July 7, 2012 07:01
1 minute read.
Woman drinks green sports drink

Woman drinks green sports drink 370. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

LAS VEGAS – Food scientists and manufacturers face a number of hurdles in identifying and effectively using natural food colorants, without diminishing product quality, safety and consumer satisfaction, according to a presentation at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Las Vegas.

According to a 2011 Nielsen survey, 92 percent of consumers in 10 countries said they were concerned about artificial colors, and 88 percent said they preferred natural ingredients. Eighty-six percent of consumers said they pay attention to news stories related to artificial food coloring.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


While the FDA recently voted against label changes for food products with artificial colors, food scientists are diligently working to replace artificial colorants with natural ingredients derived from food, spices, flowers, and plants.

The challenge is identifying a wide variety of natural colors, and successfully integrating them into food products.

“Natural colorants are not a stock commodity,” said Robert Wrolstad, PhD, distinguished professor emeritus at Oregon State University. For example, while there are many potential sources for the color red, including fruit and vegetable juice, black carrots, red radishes, and purple sweet potatoes and corn, there are few options for the color blue.

In addition, naturally-derived colorants can have varying temperature sensitivites, pH (hydrogen activity) and other attributes, affecting a product’s appearance, flavor, calories, taste and stability.

To accommodate these changes, product packaging and processing may need to change, and nearly always, “the cost of producing the product will increase,” said Cathy Culver, PhD, principal scientist, Pepsi-Cola North America.



“You need to understand your product, what it’s made with, what it’s being packaged in, and where it is being packaged,” Culver told food scientists. For example, “if you have a color that is heat sensitive you have to be very careful selling this product in India, or another country with a hot climate.

“You need to confirm that when consumers buy your product, that it is going to be what they expect,” said Culver.

This article was first published at www.newswise.com

Related Content

Lab
August 31, 2014
Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH