Chr Hansen's new range of natural colours has been formulated to help transparent beverage manufacturers reinforce the sector's healthy image.
The new ColorFruit range covers all shades from yellow to violet, but is based on just two pigments: natural carotene and anthocyanins.
The company is confident that the range offers the beverage industry an attractive natural alternative to the widespread use of synthetics such as Tartrazine, Allura Red or Sunset Yellow.
"The transparent beverage sector has often used artificial colours," Luc Ganivet, Chr Hansen food and beverage marketing manager told FoodNavigator.
"The idea was to provide a full range of shades using natural ingredients, and we believe that the beverage sector has been looking for such alternatives."
The natural carotene is derived from palm oil, while the anthocyanins are derived from a blend of different fruits and vegetables. The consumption of anthocyanins has increased dramatically on the back of growing awareness of their antioxidant properties.
"So on top of their transparent qualities, the colours are in line with general health trends," said Ganivet. "This allows manufacturers to create clean label products, and reinforces their product's healthy image."
The company says that the range has been tested in many countries, and that feedback has been positive, both from a functional and a marketing point of view. Indeed, Chr Hansen also claims that the new range offers excellent functional properties.
The company has developed technology that optimises the intermolecular relationships of the colour molecules, and creates colours with superior heat and light stability. The company also claims that the taste is very close to neutral, and does not need masking.
"These colours are exceptionally stable in a wide range of acidic beverages such as diet and regular soft drinks, near waters, alcoholic beverages or malternatives. They open the door to lots of new, exciting beverage products,"said Ganivet.
"They have been tested in heat and light, and they match the shades commonly found in synthetic colours."
The other point is cost. Gavinet claims that even with the price of certain artificial colours decreasing, the ColorFruit range is competitively priced, because of technological advances made by the Chr Hansen team.
Chr. Hansen is a leading supplier of natural colours for the food and beverage industry - a market with a total size currently estimated at € 285 million.