Naturex business manager Nathalie Pauleau said: “Spirulina is an excellent alternative to synthetic blue and meets the demand for natural products. It is also a good choice for confectionery applications, including those that require natural lipophilic coloring solutions. We are currently the only manufacturer to offer colors made from spirulina extract that incorporate easily in lipophilic formulations like confectionery compound coatings.”
This lipophilic function means the pigment is "fat-loving" and will therefore dissolve into oils, lipids and fats.
Naturex says its spirulina colorants are available in different forms including liquid, powder, and oil dispersible versions.
FDA okays spirulina extract
The FDA approval of the use of the algae-based pigment as a natural blue colorant for candies and chewing gums came into effect on September 13 this year.
At the time the FDA said: “The FDA is amending the color regulations to provide for the safe use of spirulina extract made from the dried biomass of the cyanobacteria Arthrospira platensis (A. platensis), as a color additive in candy and chewing gum in response to a petition filed by Mars, Inc.”
Nestlé had used Brilliant Blue to color its blue Smarties before moving to Spirulina, a seaweed derivative, in 2008. The company has since removed all artificial colors in confectionery items in the UK as of last year.