Both hard lozenges and gummy vitamins can have high acid- ity and low moisture which allow for vibrant hues. Lozenges are boiled to high temperatures so colors need to have high heat stability.
These can include caramel color, anthocyanins, turmeric, beta-carotene, and annatto. Purple corn and purple carrot allow for vibrant red hues often seen in fruit-flavored cough drops, while honey yellow hues seen in lozenges for sore throats are easily attainable using DDW’s line of EmulsiTech™ colors.
Anthocyanin-based colorings function best at or below pH 4.0 for red shades in nutraceuticals, making them ideal for gummy vitamins, as well. For other hues, spirulina blue now opens up the range of purple, green, and black blends that were difficult to achieve prior to its approval by the FDA.
One-piece softgels are used to dose liquid or oil-based products while hard capsules are two-pieced systems are used for dosing powders. Softgels offer a longer shelf-life when compared to other capsules, liquids, and powders since they are completely sealed and air-tight. Softgel manufacturing is specialized and requires colors that are heat stable, therefore beta-carotene and caramel color are the two most widely-used non-synthetic colors.
When switching to natural colors, product developers should be aware that processing may need to be adjusted to prevent color degradation. Generally, ingredients added to help protect and preserve the main ingredients, such as ascorbic acid/TBHQ/BHT or citric acid, will also help protect naturally derived colors used in the same application. Since most vitamins and supplements are packaged in opaque containers, light stability is not normally an issue.