‘Business as usual’ for Natural Colors as Chr. Hansen launches yellow and blue

The blue, to be marketed as FruitMax Blue 1506 WS, is derived from the ‘one globally accepted source of blue colour’: spirulina.

Perhaps better known by nutraceutical companies, rather than those in the food world, the blue-green algae will help confectioners colour fruit flavours such as bubble gum, blue raspberry, or blueberry, noted the ingredients supplier.

“Some of the best spirulina-based products, until now, needed to be pre-dispersed at production, which can be messy, difficult and inefficient for the producers,” ​said Global Industry Business Manager, Confectionery, Lotte Jeppesen.

“We have seen a built-up demand for precisely this product – it’s an easy and convenient solution for all types of boiled sweets, and it performs well in both sugar-free and sugar-based applications.”

Turmeric yellow, but without the off taste

At the same time, the Danish business has also launched FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS – a colouring foods turmeric that can be used in confectionery, ice cream, snacks, bakery and ready meals.

According to Chr. Hansen, ‘special attention’ has been placed on minimising the off taste that can be associated with the root. The company advises formulators use the colour in non-transparent packaged foods, as turmeric is well-known for its light sensitivity.

“There are many good applications for this product, but ice cream, hard candy, brioche and extruded snacks come to mind as particularly suitable, as the colour is very robust to hard temperatures,” ​said Jerome Raudin, Director, Global Marketing,

For legislative reasons, FruitMax Yellow 1000 WSS is likely to find its core markets in Europe, Latin America, and APAC – rather than in the US. “It is fully compliant with the EU Colouring foodstuffs guidelines, and therefore is a clean label colour that can be listed as turmeric extract,” ​noted the firm.

Business as usual?

The launch of these new products comes just days after Chr. Hansen revealed its Natural Colors division was undergoing a strategic review​.

Boasting the ‘largest pigment portfolio in the industry’, the division develops products from natural colours, and fruit and vegetable concentrates. When launching Chr. Hansen’s 2025 Strategy in late August 2020, CEO Mauricio Graber said the division was a ‘great business’.

However, whether Chr. Hansen is the right owner for this business has yet to be decided. The company is increasing focus on its microbial and fermentation technology programmes, and its Natural Colors division falls under its non-microbial assets.

The review is expected to be completed within the coming months.

Chr. Hansen told FoodNavigator the decision to review Natural Colors will not affect its output. The company has applied to patent FruitMax Blue 1506 WS, the outcome of which would not be impacted by a potential divesture, as Chr. Hansen Natural Colors A/S is a separate legal entity.

“For our Natural Colors team, it is business as usual and we continue to execute against our defined portfolio strategy and launch plans to meet customer requirements around the globe,” ​said Jakob Dalmose Rasmussen, Vice President, Commercial Development, Natural Colors Division.

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