HOERSHOLM, DENMARK — Chr. Hansen is introducing Ultra Stable Red, natural red colors for beverages that feature improved stability.

“This is a burning issue for beverage producers as poorly looking products may eventually jeopardize their brand,” said Ellen Hemme, industry product manager in the company’s natural colors division. “In order to avoid this risk producers have had to accept shortened shelf-life of their beverages, high scrapping rates — or the use of costly bottles with an integrated UV filter that can prevent or defer the fading process. Additionally, the fading issue has been causing hesitation among beverage producers who wish to switch from synthetic to natural colors but who fear the fading issue.”

Anthocyanins are natural color pigments that are extracted from vegetable sources such as grape skin and black carrot. Despite the range of orange-red to violet shades, it is a challenge to maintain the stability of the colors especially in beverage matrixes with high water activity. However, the stability of the Ultra Stable Red solutions in beverages is 30% to 40% better compared to existing anthocyanin colors, according to the company. This translates into a significant extension of the shelf life of the beverage product as well as cost savings in the entire beverage life cycle due to less scrapping of faded beverages and no expenses for bottles with UV filter.

“The new Ultra Stable Red solutions are attractive for two types of beverage producers,” Ms. Hemme said. “Firstly, those who are currently using ‘Allura Red’ or ‘Red 40’ — one of the ‘Southampton Six’ artificial colors — and who wish to convert to a natural color stable enough for their requirements.

Secondly, we expect that beverage producers who are currently using less stable natural color solutions—but who have been searching for a way to maintain a visually appealing red color in the product throughout its shelf life—will also be keen to explore the assets of the Ultra Stable Red solutions.”

For more information on this product, click here: