Showcasing the new ingredient at IFT in Chicago, marketing director Antoine Dauby told FoodNavigator that the colour – natural coral red - had been developed using Michroma technology by the R&D team at the French company’s Spring Lab.
“…[It] answers the need of keeping the yoghurt immaculate by preventing migration of colours," he said.
While the company had already developed a fat-soluble colour that resisted migration, Naturex’s natural coral red is suitable for water-soluble preparations.
Moving away from carmine
Business manager Nathalie Pauleau explained that the move away from carmine stemmed not just from the clean label movement and consumers’ growing reticence to use a colour derived from insects, but also from health concerns and subsequent regulatory restrictions.
New EU regulation sets a limit on the amount of carmine that can be used in food due to the presence of aluminium which is used as part of the extraction process. Aluminium has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our customers don’t want to invest in a product that consumers are beginning to move away from,” she said.
America is ready – is Europe?
To showcase the migration-proof colour at IFT, Naturex had used it in a dairy application – a single serving portion of Greek yoghurt with a savoury coulis of tomatoes, red peppers, olives and garlic.
As a healthy, savoury snack using a trending ingredient (Greek yoghurt), Naturex business director Paul Janthial told us this was exactly the kind of product young millennials were looking for - in America at least.
While Naturex was confident that its migration-proof colour solution would be well received in Europe, Janthial said that savoury yoghurts could take time.
“Savoury yoghurts have been tried in Europe a couple of times before. They haven’t worked until now but sooner or later they will,” he said.
Pauleau added that the concept of a savoury yoghurt snack had not been fully developed by the dairy industry, but that Naturex was keen to invest in future trends that had the potential to make it big.
In the meantime, she said that manufacturers of cream cheese could be interested in using the water-soluble colour red for new bilayer cheese-based products for the European market.
Last year the French company acquired Chicago-based Vegetable Juices Inc. which produces natural vegetable juices, allowing it to extend its expertise in naturally-derived colours.