Food manufacturers have been increasingly looking to switch synthetic colors for natural colors, especially since publication of the notorious Southampton study, which linked certain cocktails of colors to hyperactivity in children. And new product launches carrying a ‘natural’ label claim have remained steady at about 23 percent over the past few years, according to market research organization Mintel – although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no official definition of ‘natural’.
Sensient Colors, a business unit of Sensient Technologies Corporation, said its new SensiPearl iridescent pigment product line provides a range of customizable pearlescent colors, which can help differentiate foods through “luster effects, color shifts and iridescent shimmers.”
The colors are mica and titanium dioxide-based, can be labeled as natural on ingredient lists, and are FDA approved for use in cereals, confections, frosting, marshmallows, gelatin desserts, hard and soft candies and chewing gums.
Director of technology at Sensient Colors Mark Goldschmidt said: “SensiPearl technology offers two consumer-driven benefits: SensiPearl creates a pearlized look that adds novelty and is listed on label declarations as a natural ingredient. Achieving a unique product appearance using natural ingredients drives innovation and a multitude of marketing opportunities.”
Sensient said that the colors also have manufacturing advantages, due to a one-step application process, which the company has dubbed SpectraCoat Pearl Dispersion.
Manager of application development at Sensient Gale Myers said: “A patent-pending process, this evenly distributed coating system produces a high-gloss appearance, reduces dusting during processing, and may reduce the need for specialized spray equipment.
“Additionally, with a low usage rate, SensiPearl is an affordable way to differentiate a product or product line.”
Last April, Sensient announced a $16m investment to extend its natural color production facilities in St. Louis, Missouri.