The new micronized colour powders from ADM are made up of particles that are much smaller than conventional colour pigments. This gives the powders a larger surface – in relative terms – and increases their opacity, the company said.
“As the particles are smaller, their ratio surface-to-volume increases. This makes the colours more intense to the eye,” Fabian Uelner, product management ingredients at WILD Flavors & Specialty Commodities, part of ADM Nutrition, explained.
Physical process is label neutral
The company first developed micronized colours including yellow and red. It is now adding colourings in green and blue. The raw materials that the ADM developers use are colouring foodstuffs such as safflower, curcumin, red radish and spirulina.
The micronized colour powders are made through a physical, not chemical, process. This means they are label neutral and suitable for clean label product development, Uelner told FoodNavigator.
"We take advantage of different techniques which can be used to mill the particles to smaller size.
“The physical processes do not have any impact on labelling. It is the same as with standard powders. Since the raw material ADM is using are colouring foodstuffs and natural colours, the micronized colour powder can be declared as ingredients with no e-numbers. There is one exception: the product curcumin which is a natural colour. In total, this makes them suitable for clean label products.”
Uelner also noted that while these particles are smaller in size the ingredients do not use nanotechnology, which has drawn some attention over the last decade due to possible food safety risks. “We want to stress that despite their small particle size, the micronized colours are by no means nanomaterials.”
More bang for your buck
ADM’s micronized colour powders are more expensive to produce because they undergo additional processing steps. However, Uelner said, their use can be cost-neutral, or even cheaper than alternatives, because lower volumes are required in formulation.
“Even though ADM’s micronized colour powders undergo an additional process step, cost-in-use can be lower, because one needs to dose less. This depends on the application.”
The colours can be used for “anything that is in powder form or pressed”, from beverage instant blends to savoury soup powders or pressed tablets.
Paprika: bright orange without e-numbers
ADM also revealed its WILD Rainbow Range of colouring foodstuffs and natural colours is being expanded to include paprika.
The new option is suitable for all pH values and is heat-stable. In contrast to orange carrot, for example, paprika extract does not change its colour and become more yellow when heated, but rather retains its original orange.
Paprika can be used to give a bright orange colour to various products, including confectionery, snacks, ice cream, baked goods, breakfast cereals and chewing gum.