Speaking to FoodNavigator, senior business development director Luc Ganivet said the company would increase capacity and improve efficiency, but refused to disclose financial details or the scale of the expansion. However, he said the expansion at the Canossa, Italy plant would include both natural colours and colouring foodstuffs, including developing new processes within its FruitMax colouring foodstuffs range.
“When you look at the market, there are good solutions, but there is a demand for better performing yellow foodstuffs,” he said. “…Now this site will also work further on the colouring foodstuffs yellows.”
Colouring foods are food extracts with colouring properties, which do not require E numbers under European legislation. Recent EU guidance specified that they must be derived from fruits, vegetables, herbs or other foods that have been usually consumed in the EU since before 1997. They should be minimally processed, and should retain the characteristics of the source material, among other specifications.
Chr. Hansen noted that demand for colouring foodstuffs was increasing rapidly, due to a pervasive health and naturalness trend. It said the site upgrade would include establishing a pilot plant during 2014.
Carsten Bennike, EVP, Natural Colors Division said in a statement: “We have great expectations to the success in the market of our colouring foodstuff assortment. We have developed a full range of solutions that are fully compliant with the new EU Guidance Notes on colouring foodstuffs published in December , and this investment demonstrates that we consider the Canossa site a key building block in the Chr. Hansen manufacturing network for the Natural Colours Division.”
Market research firm RTS Resources says the global market for colouring foodstuffs uses an annual 29,412 tonnes by volume, growing at a rate of 8.6% per year. In 2011, the market value for coloured foodstuffs was estimated at $864m (€661m). However this is predicted to rise to $1.35bn (€1.03bn) by 2017.