Clean-label colouring solutions for modern consumers

Victor Foo, general manager at GNT Singapore, explains how EXBERRY’s colouring foods can create colours for food and beverage brands while tapping into demands for clean and clear labels

Today’s consumers expect their products to come with clean and clear labels. Research has shown that eight in ten shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region like to see “100% natural” claims1, while 65% say they will pay extra for food and drink if it contains “real” ingredients most or all of the time2. In addition, 69% have become more focused on natural ingredients due to the pandemic3.

As a result, many brands are taking steps to clean up their ingredient lists to ensure they match up to expectations. The choice of colour can be especially significant, with 74% of Asia-Pacific shoppers considering it important that the colouring in food and drink is natural4.

However, creating visually appealing products with completely clean and clear labels can create a challenge. Natural colours such as carmine and copper chlorophyll are widely used across the food and drink industry, but do not match up to modern expectations regarding clean ingredient lists.

Carmine is commonly used to achieve reds and pinks in applications such as beverages, dairy, and confectionery. Although considered a natural colourant, carmine is made from the inedible cochineal insect, and is therefore incompatible with vegetarian, halal, and kosher diets. In addition, it undergoes chemical processing with solvents such as aluminum oxide.

Copper chlorophyll, meanwhile, is a vibrant green colourant used in applications including sugar confectionery, dairy, and beverages. Chlorophyll is a green pigment extracted from sources including fescue and alfalfa grass using solvents such as acetone, ethanol, and hexane. As chlorophyll is an unstable compound, a copper ion is often added to enhance vibrancy and reduce colour degradation. This results in the oil-soluble colourant copper chlorophyll.

Due to the way these natural colours are created, they are considered to be additives in many parts of the world.

The full article is available in the latest edition of Food & Beverage Asia August/September 2022 issue. To continue reading, click here.