New Jersey-based distributor and supplier PLThomas has joined forces with the Israeli-based natural carotenoid specialist, LycoRed, to help in its branch into the US market. The color formulations in LycoRed's line are derived from tomato lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene carotenoids which deliver antioxidant health benefits along with color.
The development points to a growing market for naturally-sourced food colorants as consumers become more aware of issues relating to chemical or insect-based colorants in food, and formulators see the potential to target the additional health benefits natural coloring can bring.
"Tomat-O-Red can effectively replace artificial or insect-derived red colorants," said Leo Cullen, the president of LycoRed's US division. "There are no allergen issues, and the tomato complex origin of our ingredient reinforces the natural, healthy product image manufacturers are going for in their label declarations."
Tomat-O-Red will be the first of LycoRed's natural colorant line to be introduced to the food and beverage industries by PLThomas. The company previously marketed Tomat-O-Red in the eastern third of the US, but will now be the exlusive distributor in the US, Canada and Mexico. The ingredient's natural red color from a lycopene-rich tomato complex is kosher and non-GMO certified.
"Tomat-O-Red's stability in the presence of vitamin C makes it a good candidate for coloring of beverages - especially juices, smoothies and sport drinks," said Cullen. "Unlike other natural food colorants, LycoRed colorants show no signs of color shift during processing which is an important advantage."
LycoRed recently began strengthening its position in North America with the announcement of new US headquarters in Orange, New Jersey. The manufacturing facility belonged to supplier H.Reisman Corporation until LycoRed bought them out this year. This acquisition followed on the heels of its buyout of Nutriblend, Biodar and Buckton Scott Nutrition.