Eco-friendly and Health-promoting Benefits of Natural Colorants underpin their Popularity in Food Industry

Published On : 12 Jun 2018

Natural colorants have drawn considerable interest among numerous end-use industries where they are primarily used as color additives and can serve various other purposes. These have been popularly used for coloring food and beverages and also have several applications in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. The commercial usage of these color additives are being witnessed in soap and food contact applications. The preference of natural colorants over synthetic ones is underpinned by consumer perceptions and will be driven largely by the various eco-friendly and health benefits natural colorants offer to end users. 

According to estimates by, the global natural colorant market will witness a bright future rising at a promising CAGR of 5.97 % during 2017–2024. Bustling with opportunities and new avenues, the global market will reach a worth of US$1774.42 Mn by 2024 end. 

Vast Demand from Food and Feed Industries contribute to Rapid Expansion of Market 

Among the various end-use industries, natural colorants find attractive usage as food and feed additives or as food constituents in various processed food products. Natural colorants are usually derived from biological and environmental sources such as plants and microbes. The colorants have attracted widespread industry attention not only as additives but also for the several health-promoting effects these compounds may have. 

In recent years, extensive research and development activities have been undertaken to uncover the potential of natural colorants in combating various conditions and illnesses, notably chronic and degenerative diseases. So their use in food products such as rice preparations, bread and bakery, and vegetables is constantly rising. Various types of natural colorants add nutraceutical value to various foods and may also impart functional benefits. 

The market for natural colorants is also reaping substantial gains from its rapidly rising application in soaps and cosmetics products. The hues natural colorants impart to soaps may not be as vibrant as that possible with synthetic ones, but their application is attractive given their health benefits. Natural colorants derived from plants when used on soaps not just give color but may confer exfoliation and antioxidants properties to end products. 

The aforementioned trends and aspects will sustain the lucrativeness of the market over the assessment period. 

Lack of Stability of Natural Colorants Glaring Constraint Crippling Uptake 

Although natural colorants are emerging as immensely eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic ones, their adoption is hindered by a few notable factors. The lack of stability, weak tinctorial strength, inability to give hues, and their short span of applicability are characteristics that has hindered the demand for natural colorants. Moreover, their usage in some food applications is viewed with caution as they may interact with food. Efforts to find universal alternative to a synthetic one with the same range of applications hasn’t paid off so well with researchers. 

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Be that as it may, there have been spate of industry initiatives and some recent technological developments pertaining to the microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation of natural colorants. In the coming years, this might allay several concerns with the limited stability natural colorants have. 

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