Chr Hansen is a specialist in natural colours, and it first launched its ColorFruit range in 2004. The range consists of 12 products, all derived from edible fruits and vegetables, which can be blended to suit specific shade needs.
The new addition, called ColorFruit Magenta 109 WS, is extracted from purple carrot. Its vivid colour is due to the high anthocyanin content, but it is said to be twice as stable as other anthocyanin-containing fruits, such as grape skin or blackcurrant extracts. It also has no off-taste, as can occur with cabbage-derived colours.
Bertand Martzel, business development manager for beverages at Chr Hansen told FoodNavigator.com that the stability and colour intensity is achieved through a combination of the source and the extract process.
Although he would not disclose details of either, be said: “There are a thousand sources of purple carrot, and you have to pick the right one.”
The development of the new product took several years, as the company had to identify the source, develop a supply chain and ensure its sustainability. When developing different shades, on the other hand, the process can take just months or weeks, as it is just a question of making the blend, checking stability, and exploring applications.
Martzel said the new Magenta colour, which comes in liquid form, is suitable for use in fruit-flavoured still drinks, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, whey drinks, fruit preparations and confectionery.
The colour strength means that the dosage is very low, between 0.02 per cent and 0.1 per cent in soft drinks, which makes it “very cost-competitive”, Chr Hansen says.
The colour can be labelled on the product either using the E-number E163, or as ‘anthocyanins’. “If you have space on the label, you can add ‘purple carrot extract’.” Martzel said.
The colour is being launched globally, but Chr Hansen expects it to be particularly popular in Asia, where the beverage market is booming. Moreover, its suitability for vitamin water products could make it a hit in the US, where such beverages are said to be the fastest-growing segment of the beverage industry, worth US$3bn in 2007, according to Euromonitor data cited.