Next month, the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo is expected to draw as large a crowd as ever with more than 1,000 companies exhibiting, 100-plus educational sessions and more than 20,000 in attendance. This year, the show is being held in Chicago’s McCormick Place July 13-16 and will provide a landscape of information for all things involving food science and technology in the U.S. and globally.
In the beverage world, natural remains a major concern of formulators, especially as companies look for color alternatives to include in their drinks.
The term “clean label,” which means removing artificial ingredients such as additives or preservatives from formulations, is still very much in demand as consumers are closely monitoring what’s in the beverages they are purchasing.
“People are paying closer attention to labels and what they buy for their families,” says Leda Strand, product development manager–Colors, Chr. Hansen, Inc. based in Milwaukee, Wis. “It’s moved from a niche to general acceptance and even includes the store brands now, which have stricter requirements with colors and flavors.”
To meet the demand of beverage clients that are looking for natural options, Chr. Hansen (Booth 3838) will be showcasing its FruitMax line of colors that offer a wide range of natural options sourced from fruits and vegetables. This color range is preservative free, has minimal processing and can be labeled as “fruit and/or vegetable juice for color” in the U.S., according to the company. Globally, the range also adheres to regulatory standards.
“People are looking at processes with the ingredients that essentially mimic what you could do in your own kitchen,” notes Strand. “That’s this line of colors. We’ve had the liquid version and now we are coming out with powdered versions also, which will expand the application potential.”
The colors can be used in beverage applications that are acidic, but there are also options that can be used for more neutral pH beverages, such as those that are dairy based.
As the needs of beverage companies change, flavor and color providers have adapted their businesses to better meet the needs of their clients. ROHA, a leading manufacture of colors for the beverage industry globally, is relaunching its portfolio of products. Having been in the color industry for nearly 40 years, the company is broadening its horizons to offer more options, according to Bulbul Jain, manager-Technical Support.
“We thought this was the right time to rebrand the company to let the market know that we just don’t offer colors. It’s much bigger, much wider, than just colors,” she says.
The company will be exhibiting a range of colors, among other things, (Booth 3142) that are natural and sourced from natural ingredients. The line of colors meet clear label demands, says Jain, and can be applied to a wide range of beverages, including carbonated, non-carbonated, non-traditional beverages and dairy beverages.
Sensient Colors, LLC, will be showcasing its newest natural color innovations including its new Advanced Emulsion Technology (AET) platform, Microfine natural color powders, AccuPak completely dissolvable color bags and its Natural Blue color. These solutions can be used in ready-to-drink beverages, juice and juice drinks, smoothies, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, protein shakes, enhanced beverages and foodservice products.
“Our customers want preservative-free natural colors because consumers want wholesome, clean label declarations for beverage brands,” says Emina Goodman, technical manager – beverages, Sensient Colors.
The AET platform offers a portfolio of color solutions that combine oil- and water-based natural colors to provide stable complex colors that were previously unattainable, the company says. For example, different vegetable juices and beta-carotene can be combined to make a bright stable red shade.
The company’s Microfine natural color powders are designed to deliver certified color plating characteristics in a natural color solution. They offer vibrant shades that allow the color to complement the flavor of the beverage.
Sensient’s AccuPak water-soluble bags offer yet another option for beverage companies. AccuPak quick-dissolve bags are a sustainable packaging alternative that delivers the correct dose of color and eliminates dust and cross-contamination issues, the company says.
“Just toss in a pack of color and you’re done. It’s that easy,” notes Goodman. “This error proof color delivery solution has applications across all beverage categories and significantly improves operating and manufacturing efficiencies.”
Another new product the company will exhibit is its stable Natural Blue color. “Sensient’s natural blue fills a significant gap in the natural color spectrum,” says Goodman. “Through extensive research and development, Sensient’s natural blue has demonstrated excellent light and heat stability. Because of its stability, Sensient’s natural blue can be used across all beverage categories plus dairy, process foods, baking and confectionery products.” It is available in different delivery systems including liquid, powder and dispersion forms.