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Global Natural Pigment Innovation See Here

- Jan 24, 2019 -

Global Natural Pigment Innovation See Here

Pigment, this kind of thing that people love and hate, without it, nature will become eclipsed, not only that, even if we eat, use, or wear maybe only one or two simple colors, think about these, will inevitably make people visual fatigue, bored. Take our closest food as an example. Colorful fruits, vegetables, ice cream, candies, desserts and so on attract our eyes all the time. Stir up our taste buds, but in turn, too bright colors have to let everyone share a few more worries: is it adding pigments? From this point of view, it seems that "pigments" have become derogatory terms instead.


So, pigment is good or bad? Pigments can be classified into two types in nature: natural pigments and synthetic pigments. Natural pigments mostly come from plants, such as lycopene in tomatoes, capsaicin in capsicum, chlorophyll in green leaves, curcumin in curcuma, etc. In addition, natural pigments in animals and microorganisms, such as astaxanthin and monascus, are also contained in synthetic pigments. Its cost is low and its coloring effect is good, but its safety is difficult to guarantee. If used too much, it may cause harm to human body. Natural pigments are safe and natural in color, and they are derived from food. Many studies have confirmed that natural pigments are mostly antioxidant, which can help eliminate oxygen free radicals and delay human aging. Among them, anthocyanins and carotenoids are the most typical ones. In addition, curcumin, astaxanthin, lutein and other natural pigments have the functions of enhancing immunity, reducing blood lipids, helping to maintain eye and bone health. Therefore, these natural pigments are widely favored by consumers all over the world.


As consumers increasingly seek to return to nature, the rise of "clean label" promotes the rapid development of natural pigments. According to the future market insights report, the global composite annual growth rate of natural pigments is 6.8% in 2014-2020, of which the composite annual growth rate of the market in 2015-2016 is 11.5%. According to the latest Innova Market Insights market data, compared with 2016, the use of natural pigments in the world declined slightly in 2017, with a downward ratio of -1.3%. According to the new products of foods and beverages containing natural pigments introduced worldwide, baked food is still the most widely used area, accounting for about 25%, up 11.4 percentage points from the previous year (13.6% in 2016). The second is the candy business, accounting for about 15%. Convenient foods, snacks, soft drinks, sauces and condiments, dairy products and so on also have a certain market share (see Figure 1). Among them, candy increased significantly (10% in 2016). The main reason may be that the target group of candy is mainly for children and adolescents, while the young mothers of the Millennium generation are more inclined to choose healthy and safe natural pigments. For example, America JB candy company launched a candy product colored with phycocyanin, which is very attractive in color. It is known that the natural pigments are extracted from Spirulina platensis. Spirulina platensis has been proved to have many health benefits, such as enhancing immunity, resisting radiation and reducing blood cholesterol. Another example is Branch's Fruit-flavored Corn Sugar introduced by FA Candy Company in the United States. Corn is rich in natural lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps to protect vision.

Figure 1

Health claims have become a must for global food and beverage market, which is also the result of market demand, "eating health" is forming an imperative wave. In the global health positioning of foods and beverages related to natural pigments in 2017, high protein sources claimed to remain high, up 23% compared with 2016, followed by low-calorie positioning products, up 15% year-on-year, and non-additive/preservative products claimed that the growth rate of products slowed down (14% year-on-year growth rate in 2016, 4%). Gluten-free, low-fat claims still rank among the top five, even though low-fat claims are down 3% from the previous year (see figure 2).

figure 2

Figure 3

In terms of the natural pigments used, caramel pigments were the most widely used food and beverage products in the world in 2017, accounting for about 26% of the total products, which was significantly higher than that in 2016 (12% in 2016). As a kind of melanin, caramel pigments are added to Coke, soy sauce and other products in Changbei, giving the product a unique reddish-brown or black-brown color. They can also be used in desserts, candy, ice cream and bakery products, bringing a distinctive "black vision". This cool dress is loved by young consumers. Capsaicin is second only to caramel pigment, accounting for 19% of related products, followed by carmine, titanium dioxide and concentrated fruit juice, accounting for 11%, 7% and 6% respectively. Compared with the statistical data of 2016, curcumin is the most frequently used natural pigment, with 18% of products released. Curcumin, its mother, is a kind of medicinal material. Many clinical studies have officially confirmed that curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, helpful to prevent tumors, increase bone density, improve vascular endothelial function and regulate blood pressure, which has been widely recognized in the world. Although curcumin dropped out of the top five in 2017, the editorial holds that curcumin, as a natural ingredient, is only a part of its application in coloring and, more importantly, its health care function. Currently, curcumin is no longer limited to cardiovascular, liver and brain health, and gradually extends to oral, respiratory, bone and joint, sports health, etc. The scenery can not be underestimated. Currently, curcumin is mostly insoluble in the market, which may limit its effective use in some cases. Based on the demand of consumers, suppliers are also spare no effort to provide new solutions. For example, a novel organic, water-soluble curcumin raw material purtumeric recently launched by AFS in the United States is known to not cause precipitation in the production of curcumin and affect the quality of the product. Besides providing the health benefits due to curcumin, it can also give the product a novel flavor.


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