Doehler offers natural alternatives to carmine, caramel colouring

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caramel-coloursThe trend towards naturalness and clean labelling results in an increasing demand for colouring concentrates, while in other cases, an exchange is necessary due to legal modifications and special consumer requirements.

There were about 26,000 new foods and beverages with natural colours introduced to the global market in 2013.

“In the meantime, the demands of many consumers are still going one step further. Not only does the naturalness of the colour play an important role, but so does the source of the extracted natural, colouring substance,” explained Christian Benetka Uher, Head of the Business Unit Colours at the globally active provider of natural ingredients and ingredient systems, Doehler.

Some food colours such as those derived from the natural sources, such as carmine and caramel colouring as well as artificial colours, are increasingly replaced in food and beverage applications, and even completely avoided in new recipes.

The trend towards naturalness and clean labelling results in an increasing demand for colouring concentrates, while in other cases, an exchange is necessary due to legal modifications and special consumer requirements.

The so-called colouring concentrates, products similar to juice which are made from fruits, vegetables or plants allow a stable colouring in the end product and enable a “clean” label. They do not carry any E-numbers and therefore have to be declared purely as an ingredient, as opposed to an additive.

The colourant carmine (E120) applies to a wide range of food and beverage applications. However, an exchange is often necessary due to significant fluctuations in cost and availability. Furthermore, carmine must not be used in vegetarian, vegan, halal or kosher certified products, as it is obtained from scale insects. Yet, it is difficult to replace as it boasts superb technological properties. Doehler recommends that carmine is replaced by anthocyanin-based colours for use in red coloured beverages, including those from black carrot, purple sweet potato or grape.

The tomato colourant lycopene, however, is primarily suited for colouring dairy products. This is particularly interesting for ice-cream manufacturers as they are strongly reliant on alternatives because of future legal changes. In August this year, the European Commission will introduce a ban on the use of additives containing aluminium, including carmine, in ice cream and related product categories.

For product concepts without E-numbers, manufacturers can use red colour shades from the Doehler’s Red Brilliance range. The colouring concentrates are extracted from the black carrot and are characterised by high stability and brilliance in the end product. The colouring concentrates do not contain any E-numbers and must therefore just be declared as food.

In addition, Doehler offers a range of alternatives for caramel colouring, which is avoided by an increasing number of consumers. Depending on usage, Doehler application specialists recommend colouring concentrates extracted from malt and apple as alternatives. They do not carry E-numbers and must therefore just be declared as food.

In the past, the only way to achieve a “warm orange”, “sunny yellow” or “soft yellow” in clear beverages without affecting the taste profile negatively was by using artificial colours. With the natural colour range of Crystal Clear Colours 2.0 by Doehler, these colour tones can be achieved also in clear beverage applications. This is especially relevant when replacing some azo-colourants.

Azo-colourants are subject to criticism due to the suspected adverse affect they can have on a child’s activity and attention, and consequently, they must carry an appropriate warning label. The shining, brilliant colour tones of Crystal Clear Colours 2.0 are based on purely natural colouring principles such as paprika extract, beta carotene or lutein and are furthermore characterised by an outstanding stability in the end product throughout the entire shelf life.

Alongside premium resources, application knowledge and having long-term  relationships with suppliers are particularly important factors when it comes to replacing synthetic by natural colours. Doehler has its own production sites across the globe, guaranteeing highest standards and full traceability for all manufacturing steps from cultivation right through to bottling. It is only possible to develop sustainably successful products on the basis of this reliability and application expertise, which meet the current market conditions.

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