US color firm Sethness has launched what it claims to be the world's first certified organic powdered caramel color, designed for use in baked good and seasonings.
The firm, which already produces organic liquid caramel colors, said the new launch is in response to demand from customers who want a dry form of the color.
The new ingredient, OC234, claims to be a label friendly way to add caramel color to organic products, while also improving their visual appeal.
"We have experienced strong interest in our two Certified Organic Liquid Caramel Colors, and the OC234 was our response for numerous customer requests for an organic caramel color in dry form," said the firm's Brian Sethness.
The new ingredient can be used in bakery application, cereals, dry blends, meat rubs and seasonings. It is particularly expected to respond to demand from many seasoning and baked goods manufacturers who are limited to using powdered caramel colors in their applications.
Organic products continue to enjoy increasing popularity in the US. According to last year's estimations by the nation's Organic Trade Association, the overall food organic market grew 28 percent since 2003 to reach a total value of $14bn in 2005, and was expected to reach $16bn by the end of 2006. OTA's latest figures are expected shortly.
With the rising power and ongoing growth of the multiple global retailers putting constant pressure on ingredients companies to keep up with the pace, deliver products at competitive prices and guarantee supplies, the move by Sethness is driving it further into the profitable natural and organics colors market.
In 2005, another organic caramel color was launched by ingredient maker DD Williamson. At the time, the company said its line of organic caramel colors were the first to be manufactured in North America.
Like Sethness, DD Williamson said it developed the products in response to demand from food manufacturers, who are increasingly churning out healthier product alternatives in light of recent consumer trends.
According to Sethness, the development of its new powdered caramel ingredient took months of trial and error. The firm will be featuring its new ingredient at the IFT show in Chicago this July.