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Sensient develops palm-free colors

1 commentBy Maggie Hennessy , 16-Sep-2013
Last updated on 16-Sep-2013 at 18:04 GMT2013-09-16T18:04:20Z

Photo from Sensient Colors
Photo from Sensient Colors

Amid increased environmental concerns over palm oil production, Sensient Colors has developed palm-free natural colors to expand on its existing natural colors portfolio. 

The new technological platform is free of all palm-derived components, not just the active pigment. Extensive stability tests also showed that the palm-free colors are resistant to color degradation, making them suitable for all food and beverage applications. From a coloring perspective, palm-free formulations do not differ in shade or appearance.

Historically, Sensient used palm oil in its colors as a carrier and emulsifier because of its low oxidation and high stability properties, Steve Morris, general manager of U.S. food colors for Sensient Colors, told FoodNavigator-USA in an email.

But as demand for palm oil has grown over the past 20 years because of its low cost and stability, the subsequent rapid expansion of palm oil plantations has raised concerns regarding deforestation and wildlife habitat preservation and raised pressure on manufacturers to find alternatives.

“Once the palm oil was removed, it was replaced with palm-free emulsifiers, oils and dilutants and tested for stability and shade. Through this palm-free technology platform we found that some new palm-free colorants had even better stability,” Morris added.

Sensient declined to disclose specific examples of the palm oil replacements.

Sensient Colors is a business unit of Sensient Technologies Corp., St. Louis, MO.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Way to go, Sensient

I want to give kudos to Sensient. Rather than try to simply "buy" their way out of the palm crisis (purchasing carbon credits), they have actually done the work to get palm out of their products. Way to go!

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Posted by Food Technologist
17 September 2013 | 20h252013-09-17T20:25:42Z

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