A new natural food colouring promises positive results


Food colouring can be a great way to help a product standout and Oterra’s latest offering comes off the back of nearly 10 years of research.

Bold and bright reds conjure thoughts of passion, raw emotion, strength, love, excitement, mystery and even festivities. The power of colours has always been the area of focus for food colouring specialists like Oterra.

The colour red has so many associations in society, from the perceived hyper energy given out by red drinks such as cordials and red creaming soda, through to red cocktails that can create images of class, while bright red drinks are pleasing to the eye.

The colour red plays a crucial part in telling a story, in suggesting the flavour and defining the emotional experience.

This is how Oterra approaches its food colouring solutions, with a deep understanding of the power of food and beverage colouring.

The natural colouring supplier has launched the industry’s newest natural alternative to Red40/Allura Red for beverages – Hansen Sweet Potato FruitMax Red 116 WS.

The result of nearly a decade of research and development, the Hansen Sweet Potato range became an award-winning industry favourite, scooping up prizes in three continents: Europe, North America, and South America, including the Clean Label and Natural Innovation Award at the Fi Innovation Awards in Paris.

The new vegetable variety is designed to be a stable, vibrant, and natural red alternative to similar offerings in the marketplace.

In a post-COVID world, consumer desires for experiences with food and drink have catapulted to the next level.

According to a spokesperson from Oterra, the company believes consumers have let go of expected combinations of colours and flavours and want to be surprised with new and creative ways of showcasing beverages and colour shades are key in evoking emotional reactions.

Bold red shade beverages can deliver a myriad of new concepts driven by emotional responses. Bold red holds a hint of danger and allure of the unexpected. Red can suggest exotic flavour combinations such as strawberry and watermelon with a hint of chilli to quench a thirst.

Peoples’ senses allow them to experience the world, but sight and colour become the first sense in the digital world, and it will only become more prevalent in the future, according to the spokesperson.

colouringRed is sometimes associated with joy – with the thrill of bright red, you can make a moment cheerful, uplifting and truly memorable. There is no better category to than beverages to deliver these emotional responses because a beverage is suited to almost any setting and occasion.

To date, natural red colours for use in beverages from sources such as radish, beet, black carrot, and carmine have been hindered by some technical restraints, making formulating-coloured red beverages challenging.

HSWP FruitMax Red 116 WS is designed specifically for beverage manufacturers and their needs.

Oterra did not rest on its laurels. Feedback from beverage manufacturers told them they wanted to launch more red shades of drinks across different formulations.

Oterra’s technical team embraced the challenge and went back to work until they discovered and refined the next generation of HSWP Reds.

An intense crystal-clear red, FruitMax Red 116 WS is flavour-neutral, with stability. Its clean label credentials support clear, easy-to-understand labelling that helps position beverage products as healthy and less processed, which can have appositive impact on brand awareness.

Besides being a natural alternative to Allura red/Red 40, this new red shade also offers a range of other features that address the needs of differing formulation bases.

FruitMax Red has potential for vitamin waters and sports drink formulations whereby achieving natural red colours has been difficult to date.

The vitamins and/or minerals in these formulations often creates a destabilising effect on the anthocyanins and for this reason there has not been many launches of natural red products to date.

HSWP FruitMax Red has also improved stability for alcoholic beverages that contain a lot of herbal infusions, like pre-mixed cocktails, which can have big benefits as consumers flock to specialty beverages like cocktails and craft spirits.

Additionally, ciders are another growth segment because the product often contains sulphites, a known destabiliser of anthocyanins. However, manufacturers can now launch a new range of tempting red shade combinations.

The consumer demand for non-alcoholic beverages also sees an opportunity for beverage manufacturers to capitalise on this trend by launching new line extensions in popular flavours such as strawberry, raspberry and grapefruit in beverages such as fruit juice drinks, fermented carbonated soft drinks such as kombucha or switchel, and high-end syrups.

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