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DDW positions beta-carotene as stable and ‘naturally derived’

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 30-Jan-2009

D.D. Williamson has introduced a naturally derived beta-carotene coloring which it expects to appeal to manufacturers looking to capitalize on the growing trend for natural foods and beverages.

The coloring varies in hue from yellow to orange depending on concentration, and the company says it is particularly useful for beverage applications – although it is also suited to a range of others, including yogurt, confectionery, baked goods and condiments.

Food science chemist Jody Renner-Nantz told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “From a functional standpoint, it adds a lot to the beverage market as a light-stable, heat stable, naturally derived coloring.”

The company claims that its beta-carotene reduces cloudiness, speeds dispersion and is “designed to reduce the risk of sedimentation, ringing, and cap/bottle staining.”

The new coloring is available in either powder or liquid form to be incorporated at a typical concentration of between 0.005 percent and 0.1 percent.

The company claims that in functionality its new coloring compares favorably to other similar ones on the market, the most prevalent being synthetic chemically derived beta-carotene.

Labeling claims

Manufacturers using DDW’s new coloring would be able to label their products with the claim “made with naturally derived ingredients”, as long as the other ingredients also qualify. Crucially, manufacturers using nature-identical beta-carotene – the conventionally-used synthetically manufactured variety – would not be able to make the same claim.

Products making natural claims have rocketed in recent years as consumers have become increasingly interested in healthy eating ideals.

In fact, one third of all food products launched in the US in 2008 made an ‘all-natural’ claim on the packaging, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, an increase of 16 percent on 2007.

2,998 food and beverage products made a natural claim in the US last year, nearly double the number five years ago, at 1591.

Vice president of marketing Campbell Barnum said DDW would not disclose the exact source of its naturally derived color, but added that this information would be available to individual companies on request.

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