BASF unveils brilliant orange beta carotene color with superior stability, dispersing characteristics

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: BASF
Picture: BASF

Related tags Color

BASF has launched a new nature identical brilliant orange colorant targeting formulators looking to replace Azo dyes yellow 5 and 6 in beverages, soups, confectionery, and nutrition products.

Depending on the application and amount used, manufacturers may include a vitamin A or antioxidant label claim when using Lucarotin ​10 CWD (cold water dispersible) / O (Orange) Plus – a 10% beta-carotene powder that can be labeled as 'beta-carotene (color)' in the US.

The active ingredient is an exempt color additive (21 CFR part 73​) derived from natural or nature identical sources, and is therefore exempt from the FDA certification process. 

Lucarotin 10 CWD/O Plus 'consistently disperses significantly more quickly’

Lucarotin 10 CWD/O Plus is heat- and light-stable, and disperses quickly and easily without adversely impacting the product’s sensory characteristics, claimed Brad Hayhoe, Carotenoids Regional Product Manager, BASF Nutrition & Health, North America.

In side-by-side comparison tests with competitive products, Lucarotin ​consistently disperses significantly more quickly.”

Asked about the source of the color, he told FoodNavigator-USA:  “While the color is derived from a synthetic source, it is called nature identical because it has the same molecular structure as the beta-carotene found in many fruits and vegetables.

The bottom line? Consumers prefer to see beta-carotene than yellow # 5 or red #40 on a label

But will consumers consider this any less ‘artificial’ than yellow #5 or #6?

Yes, said Hayhoe: “Consumers are looking for simple labels with healthier ingredients they recognize. Nature identical beta-carotene is one way to increase the nutritional value of foods, and at the same time, remove azo dyes that may be viewed negatively by some.”

 “As BASF continues to refine more natural options, nature identical beta-carotene is preferred by formulators in North America for use both as color and as a source of vitamin A. Now with this new Lucarotin color, you have brilliant color, unsurpassed stability, and ease of use.

“The bottom line is: consumers prefer to see beta-carotene listed for color on a label, rather than yellow #5 or red #40.”​ 

Superior stability and dispersing characteristics

Asked how Lucarotin 10 CWD/O Plus compared with alternative options in the orange color spectrum, he said: “Other color options on the market typically do not offer the same combination of functionality, color range and economic benefit as nature identical beta-carotene.

“Lucarotin offers technical advantages compared to artificial dyes such as superior heat stability and enhanced stability in the presence of light and vitamin C. Compared to other beta-carotene-derived colorants, Lucarotin has superior dispersing characteristics. 

“In certain applications such as beverages, Lucarotin has increased stability with minimal sensory impact compared to colorants such as annatto or carrots. As an added bonus, Lucarotin allows for an allergen-free label.”

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