Natural food colourings are derived from agricultural, biological, or mineral sources. They have a simple extraction process and long history of safe usage. The DDW brand is one of the most well-known and trusted by the world’s food and beverage producers — and the reasons are easy to see. DDW specializes in natural colours and caramel colour for food and beverage applications. In fact, our products end up in two billion servings per day!
“Naturally derived” coloring
1) sources from substance that occurs in nature. Its origin is natural – whether vegetal (plant), microbiological, animal or mineral.
2) results from traditional food preparation processes
“Nature identical” coloring
1) meets none of the above criteria.
2) through chemical synthesis, replicates molecular structure to become identical to the naturally derived coloring.
DDW offers a wide variety of natural colourings, each of which have unique properties that determine their application suitability. Custom solutions can be achieved by blending or mixing colorings derived from natural sources to create a different hue for an ever expanding portfolio of consumer products.
In a recent poll, DDW found that food technologists reported they most commonly use natural coloring in foods and beverages for three main reasons: to offset colors that may be lost in storage and distribution; to reduce variations in color from sourcing or processing; or to enhance naturally occurring colors. (Less common reasons included using natural colors to provide a product’s flavor identity; to color products that are colorless; or to protect sensitive flavors or vitamins.)
The simple extraction process used for naturally derived coloring is similar to that of concentrating fruit or vegetable juice. Manufacturing methods for converting natural sources into food colouring include extraction, heating, homogenization, milling, filtration, concentration and drying.
First, raw materials are selected and thoroughly washed. Then, they are crushed or milled before course filtering or straining. Afterwards, they are fine or polish filtered, pasteurized and then concentrated.
To determine exact colors, it’s important to use color instruments and measurement analytics such as colorimeters and spectrophotometer.
Natural food coloring can be created in both a liquid and powder form. Color clarity can range from cloudy to clear. Additional attributes such as water soluble, water dispersible, emulsion for oil and water or water and oil, oil dispersible or oil soluble can be developed for the final natural color, depending on the needs of the processor. Contact us for a personalized natural color product recommendation for your food or beverage product application!
Custom solutions can be achieved by mixing or blending natural colors.
When using natural colors for food and beverage applications, there are some stability considerations that should be noted. The main considerations include acid stability, heat stability, light stability, other ingredients (including juices, vitamins, minerals, metals, flavors, and polyphenols), processing, packaging, and storage.
Typical food and beverage applications where natural colorings might be used include beverages, bakery, snacks, cereal, candy, confections, dairy, sauces, soups, seasonings, fruit preparations or fillings, potatoes and pasta, and petfoods. To learn more or to view the full list, visit our Applications page.
The world’s leading food safety authorities, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), oversee natural food coloring. Approved food coloring can vary from country to country, so it’s important to understand the regulations of the country where the finished food or beverage is marketed.
Here at DDW, we take food safety and product quality very seriously. We’ve participated in millions of dollars of safety testing over the past 40 years, and the results have always shown that our products are safe and harmless. Click here for safety studies on one of our main colorants, caramel color, in food and beverage products. You can learn more about our wide variety of natural colorings in the Colorant section of this website.
We have provided a very useful Compliance and Regulatory section to help you find regulatory information by region. These documents are frequently updated and we are happy to answer additional questions you may have.
Hue is one of the main color properties. “A color additive needs to have hue — a particular shade of a color,” says Stephen Lauro in the above video.
Heat and Light Stability
“Since we’re dealing with processed foods, the coloring ingredient needs to withstand heat processing and light exposure,” Lauro adds.
“In addition,” says Stephen Lauro, “the colorant needs to demonstrate pH stability.”
If the colorant is heat stable, light stable and pH stable, it will most likely be shelf stable.
DDW offers a wide variety of natural alternatives to synthetic color additives. Contact us for a full list.
The following chart displays some natural alternatives to the specific synthetic color additives known as the “Southampton Six,’ which may have an adverse affect on activity and attention in children: