Whether you’re a vegan, a dye-free crafter or simply a lover of natural color, there are plenty of ways to get your fill. From vibrant purples that are extracted from mulberries to deep green hues derived from eucalyptus leaves, nature’s palette has you covered.
Natural colors are rising in popularity, mainly due to consumer demand for clean-label products that are free of synthetic dyes and other additives known to be associated with negative behavior effects. But as manufacturers shift away from synthetic colors, they face challenges – including the need for naturally-sourced ingredients that can be used in food and beverage applications where high heat and light stability are required.
A number of natural color producers are working to overcome these issues and bring highly functional, reliable, quality solutions to the market. For example, natural reds are often formulated to be durable in processing, heat and light conditions. Some, like anthocyanins derived from purple sweet potato and purple corn, can even change from pink/red in acidic applications to blue/purple in neutral/high pH conditions.
Other natural color ingredients can also offer unique functionality. For instance, some naturally occurring pigments like betalains, phycocyanins and carotenoids can be found in many of the foods we eat. They act as natural dietary fiber and have been linked to numerous health benefits such as digestive support, immune function, heart disease prevention and skin care1.