Food color: To more natural alternatives?

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  • April 6, 2015

R&D management

A color additive is any dye, pigment or substance which when added or applied to a food or beverage is able of imparting color.

FDA is responsible for regulating all color additives to ensure that foods containing color additives are safe to eat or drink, contain only approved ingredients and are accurately labeled.

What is the role of food color?

Color has a crucial role to play in FMCG product formulation, development and launch.

It helps in making foods and beverages more appealing and motivates consumers in their purchasing process. Food colors also impact on how consumers perceive a product taste; basically, without color additives, colas wouldn’t be brown, margarine wouldn’t be yellow and mint ice cream wouldn’t be green.

More technically speaking, food coloring assists in minimizing variations due to ingredient instability and appearance. It also offsets color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions.

An attractive market

The food color market is projected to reach $2.3 billion by 2019. North America is the leading food colors market, while Asia Pacific is experiencing the fastest growth due to an increase in consumption of processed foods.

A crave for natural color

As the trend in the market pushes for more natural, organic and clean-label products, the need for more and more natural ingredients is rising.

Clean label is top of mind for today’s health-conscious consumers, and this is especially true for colorants. In fact, many companies have already replaced artificial colors in existing products with “natural” alternatives.

Globally, Europe is leading the way in the switch to natural colors; 85% of new product launches in Europe use natural colors, compared to 33% in the United States, according to Mintel. This is especially true when it comes to candies and sweets.

While developing a new product or changing an existing formula, R&D teams need an efficient formulation tool. Lascom provides PLM solution dedicated to FMCG companies, to help them to better manage their innovation process and their formulation stages.

Using Lascom solution, Food and Beverage manufacturers:

  • Optimize innovation processes due to an integrated formulation tool; through Excel connectors, R&D and Quality teams are able to create a new formula from scratch. The new product criteria such as weight, price, allergens and calories are automatically calculated in real time.
  • Change their existing products formula; for instance, replacing artificial coloring by natural is straightforward. Impacts are calculated automatically to provide quantified data to managers.
  • Trace raw material origin. Recall and audits are easier.
  • Store all products and ranges in a repository to benefit from a “single version of the truth”.

To learn more about PLM and how to facilitate innovation process, click here

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