As consumer preferences drive away from artificial ingredients, manufacturers are turning to natural colors for beverages; however, these unfortunately fade during processing or storage.
Consumer preferences are driving a trend away from artificial ingredients in foods and beverages. This trend extends to food and beverage coloring agents, as consumers increasingly prefer to buy soft drinks and fruit-flavored beverages with colorants derived from natural, rather than artificial, sources. Such beverages are more appealing if they are brightly colored, rather than clear, and have colors that correspond to the flavor of the beverage.
Existing natural colorants for beverages tend to suffer from undesirable color fading during processing and storage. In addition, improvements to colorant stability using current natural additives and manufacturing methods are either short-lived or produce undesirable effects, such as changes in pH, flavor, or color.
Xinova seeks novel solutions that can extend the shelf life of natural colorants. Solutions should cover a broad color spectrum, including red, orange, yellow, and purple beverages colored from anthocyanins and carotenoids. Inventions should be in the form of natural ingredients that beverage manufacturers can easily add to ready-to-drink beverages.
Market trends toward “natural” foods are driving companies to remove artificial coloration from their products. Consumers perceive artificial colorants as unhealthy, and beverage companies are addressing their desire for healthier alternatives by using natural colorants. The move away from synthetic colorants is part of a broader trend toward replacing artificial, chemically-derived ingredients with those sourced from natural fruits, vegetables, and plants. However, natural colorants can contribute undesirable flavors or scents, and they are often less efficient than the artificial dyes or pigments they are replacing. Further, the most commercially significant natural colorants, namely carotenoids and anthocyanins, are sensitive to light, temperature, and pH. In some cases, the presence of other ingredients such as vitamin C further influences stability. These factors complicate their use in beverages, where exposure to low pH, temperature fluctuation, and light is commonplace.
RFI-180111 seeks inventions which prolong the stability of natural colors in beverages without altering the taste or color profile. During this 20-minute webinar, RFI manager Nick Milanovich describes the problem being addressed, the scope of the RFI, and the technical landscape, and addresses questions from the audience.
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