Are you familiar with the natural sources used to make yellow colour extracts? Caty Meleuc, Colours Technical Specialist – Europe, discusses natural sources for yellow colour extracts and why one might use one of these hues in a food or beverage.

Why use a yellow colour extract?

How a product looks impacts the consumer’s purchase and even influences how food and beverages are perceived through taste. The colour yellow is typically associated with joy, luxury (gold), warmth and sunshine.

Popular applications that are expected to be yellow are the ones that traditionally use eggs or butter. Sometimes these have been reduced, or replaced to make a product vegan, such as in margarine, batters, cakes or ice cream. The yellow hue supports a positive quality message to the consumer. Similarly, in lemon, vanilla or fruit-flavoured yogurts, sorbets, confectionery, beverages, pickles and many others, the naturally sourced colour allows a match between visual appeal and taste.

Where do natural colour extracts come from?

Natural colours derived from fruits, vegetables and other natural sources are increasingly sought-after by consumers. Consumers are looking for simpler, cleaner ingredient statements. They want to know and understand the ingredients in the food and beverages they consume. Naturally sourced colours help alleviate consumer concerns regarding synthetic food colours.

A few natural sources for yellow and orange colour extracts include safflower, turmeric, carrot, yellow paprika, and annatto. These sources may be subject to geographical restrictions, and are also dependent on agricultural factors. Each source can provide a different hue: from zingy citrus with a slight green note (safflower, turmeric) to deep golden eggy yellow (carrot, paprika).

Factors to Consider

One factor to consider when using a colour extract is solubility. Pigments and foods with colouring properties are naturally oil or water soluble. However, the pigments’ solubility can be adjusted through expert formulation: for example, water soluble turmeric emulsions for pickles enable the pickles to absorb the turmeric whilst the carrot in the brine protects them from light in clear jars.

When formulating, one should always consider a range of factors: solubility, hue, transparency, packaging, food matrix interactions, ingredient declaration, shelf life conditions (heat, light, oxygen). Heat is one factor that does not need to be worried about, as all yellows are stable throughout heating processes.

Kalsec Natural Colours

Did you know that Kalsec has a full line of naturally sourced colour extracts for a variety of food and beverage applications – from vibrant reds, oranges and yellows to cool blues and greens – that provide a bold, clean label replacement to more synthetic colours. Kalsec Durabrite® Colors protect the pigments for a finished product that looks better for longer.

Kalsec also offers Naturebrite® Paprika as a colouring foodstuff for European snack makers, adding to our portfolio of Vegetone® Color Systems and Durabrite® High Stability Colors. Naturebrite® Colors, known as colouring foods, are minimally processed and can be declared as food on a label; for example, safflower, carrot, turmeric, and paprika would be labelled as such.

Learn more about Kalsec’s yellow naturally sourced colour extracts here:

Yellow Hues

For more information about natural colours and colouring foods, read about the Differences between natural colors and colouring foods.

About the Author

portrait of Caty MeleucCaty Meleuc is Technical Support Specialist Colours for the EMEA region, researching and advising customers on the best colour solutions for their products and processes. Following an MSc in Agronomy & Food Science from Agro ParisTech, France, she has extensive experience across a range of food manufacturing sectors. She combines passion for food with scientific knowledge and curiosity to help create innovative and transparent yet process-friendly products, across a wide and ever-extending array of applications.

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