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New caramel colours from nature

GNT leverages fruit and vegetables to formulate caramel colour substitute for drinks….

The concentrates allow brands to maximise their drinks’ appeal with eye-catching colours.

GNT has unveiled a range of concentrates made from caramelised sugar syrup as natural substitutes to caramel (E150) colour used in beverages.

The colours — Exberry Shade, Autumn Brown and Exberry Shade Golden Brown — are liquid-based and are created from edible, non-GMO fruit and vegetables.

The natural colour range can help manufacturers impart reddish-brown and caramel-brown hues in low-pH still and carbonated soft drinks like natural colas, energy drinks and iced lattes while meeting consumers’ clean label demands.

“Manufacturers need brown shades for a huge range of beverages, from fruit drinks to carbonated soft drinks to iced lattes, but consumers want to trust that the colours are safe,” Maartje Hendrickx, market development manager, GNT Group, tells Food Ingredients First.

“They’re great for beverage manufacturers because they offer a clean label, plant-based solution that performs extremely well.”

Maartje Hendrickx

She also highlights that the colours deliver clear shades, with no turbidity development and precipitation over time in beverages with a pH level below 3.

Cloudy yellows and inky teals

The liquid-based colours are formulated using fruit and vegetables like carrots and apples and are suitable for vegan, Kosher and Halal diets, notes the company.

“Our new brown range is created with physical processing methods – we don’t use any organic solvents to extract the colour from the raw materials,” underscores Hendrickx.

The colours are formulated using traditional methods such as chopping, filtering and boiling – the same methods consumers use at home.

She further highlights the rise in sustainable F&B innovations.

“We’re seeing that consumers of all ages are becoming more and more concerned with the health of the planet. As part of that, we’re starting to see a shift not only to more sustainable food and drink but toward an earthier palette that is inspired by the natural world.

“Brown fits well with this emerging trend as it can deliver earthy, warm shades that are reassuring and comforting.”

She notes that other shades gaining more prominence include the rich reds of root vegetables, cloudy yellows and inky teals from heritage corn and spirulina.

The colours are also light and heat stable and are easy to pump and dose.

The Exberry browns can be used in apple drinks, ginger ale, energy drinks and natural cola

.“This is an important benefit because it allows manufacturers to use heat during processing and also supports storage stability, with no need for refrigeration or opaque packaging to protect the colour,” explains Hendrickx.

Ditching the artificial

Colour formulators are increasingly tapping into nature to formulate sustainable and natural colours for F&B amid the increased scrutiny of specific colour sources, such as titanium dioxideRed No 40 and Red No. 3.

Ginkgo Bioworks and Phytolon have joined forces to develop natural food colours from betalains using fermentation baker’s yeast. The colours encompass the full-colour palette of the yellow-to-purple spectrum.

ADM also has a library of natural colours developed from fruits, vegetables and other botanicals and a cleaner label alternative to white coulorants like titanium dioxide.

Scientists are looking into natural colour as well. A recent research in Denmark employed fermentation techniques to formulate natural betalain-type food colours using Yarrowia lipolytica, an oleaginous yeast commonly found in cheese.

Source: Food Ingredients First

GNT Exberry’s agent in SA is Carst & Walker, contact Levina Govender, Product Manager – Food Ingredients T +27 [0] 11 489 3648