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Natural patents


Last week we reported on a new survey that revealed the growing popularity of natural colours. Good news for ingredients companies such as Danish Chr.Hansen who announced this week that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company patent rights to a type of natural colours that are made using 'cap' technology.

Valued at €249 million, the market for natural colours is predicted to grow annually by 5 per cent as the demand for such ingredients in confectionery and beverage products increases.

"Chr. Hansen is the world's leading supplier of natural colours, and we hope this will convince even more companies to choose natural colours instead of synthetic ones," said CSO of Chr.Hansen Peter Olesen.

The new type of colours are made using 'cap' technology, which involves capping tiny colour particles in pectin - a carbohydrate found in a number of fruits and vegetables.

"Capping the colour particles - in this case in pectin from sugar beets - makes them distribute evenly in, for instance, a fizzy drink instead of clotting together. This is simply a more efficient way of doing things," claimed Peter Olesen.

The new US patent - effective until 2020 - covers both the colours and the method of capping them in pectin from sugar beets. Chr. Hansen produces the colours in Avedøre, Denmark and Milwaukee, USA.

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