Natural routes to orange, yellow and red

Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 all may bring stable, vibrant colors to beverages, but the synthetic F.D.&C. colors do not fit into the increasing demand for naturally sourced colors. Replacing Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 may involve extracts from fruits and vegetables, such as beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene may replace Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, but it may cause problems such as dispersion difficulty and the appearance of neck ringing, said Ashlee Martin, senior scientist for beverages for Chr. Hansen, which has a U.S. office in Milwaukee. To address these issues, Chr. Hansen has launched CapColors Orange 057 WSS colorant, an encapsulated beta-carotene for use in juices, she said. These colorants are liquid solutions and cold-water dispersible, she said. They are easy to work with in production.

CapColors Orange products may take out 30% of the costs when used in place of standard beta-carotene, said Christian Hjortholm Steffensen, marketing manager — North America for Chr. Hansen.

To replace Red No. 40, Chr. Hansen offers Ultra Stable Red colors based on vegetable-based anthocyanin sources. They are available in liquid and powder forms.

Replacing Red No. 40 may be an issue in beverages and other applications, said Stefan Hake, president of GNT USA, Tarrytown, N.Y.

“Most people say, ‘Well, what is replacement for Red No. 40?’” Mr. Hake said. “My answer would be all the different varieties of fruits and vegetables that are available in nature, and understanding the actual applications that it goes into.”

Formulators might have three different red solutions, he said.

“One that works for replacement in soft drinks, the other one works really well in hard candy, and the other one that works better in yogurt,” Mr. Hake said.

There are several different ways to achieve red in a beverage, said Jody Renner-Nantz, senior applications scientist for DDW, The Color House, Louisville, Ky.

Anthocyanins will vary in appearance or hue depending on the pH and concentration, she said. In beverages with a pH of 3.2, black carrot may provide more of a pink red while purple sweet potato may offer more of a purple red or blue red.

“You can get a variety of hues depending on which anthocyanin you choose,” she said. “Often times, really you get the best stability if you blend anthocyanins.”