Organic Colors in the Food Industry

As companies continue to opt for organic ingredients for their food products, they eventually come a cross a common problem in the organic food industry. Color plays a vital part in the perceived taste and quality of a food product. Recently, food companies such as Nestlé and General Mills have announced their plan to leave behind synthetic food colors and pursue plant based food dyes.

According to Carol Culhane, president of International Food Focus Limited, a Toronto-based firm that helps American and Canadian food manufacturers comply with food regulations, demand for natural food colors began to take off in 2007, after a study in The Lancet linked artificial food dyes to hyperactivity in children.

However, deriving food dyes from natural sources is much more expensive than synthesizing it in a lab. Much of this has to do with the availability of the necessary plant or vegetables.

Culhane explains, “in a factory, companies can make as much of a synthetic color as needed at any given time the exact same way, and keep the price consistent. But pigments in real vegetables can vary from field to field, region to region and year to year.”

So how exactly is color derived from natural sources. According to the Salt, the following companies are pioneering the search for natural food dyes.

California based company colorMaker, uses a wide variety of fruit and vegetable juices to create a spectrum of naturally colored dyes. However, in order to do so, they must import their juices from all over the world, including red cabbage from China and purple carrots from Europe.

Another company, Kalsec, has been deriving colors exclusively from different types of carrots for over 50 years. They’ve discovered a solution to another common problem found in natural food dyes. These dyes are not as stable as their synthetic counterparts and so Kalsec adds their patented Durabrite technology to protect the dyes from light, heat, oxygen and trace metals.

Companies like these will continue to scour the Earth for sources for their food dye, eventually making it possible for other companies to make the switch. As candy companies push towards organic ingredients, it will be interesting to see what methods they will adopt to color their confections.

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Organic Candy Drives Demand

It should be no shock to anyone that the demand for organic foods has steadily increased. Health conscious consumers seek transparency in their products and are increasingly concerned with the environmental footprint and quality of ingredients of the brands that they purchase.

Demand for organic snack foods is particularly high. In 2015, organic food sales reached $2.3 billion. That’s a 14% increase in sales from the year before. If you’re looking for evidence, it’s all around you. Pretty much every grocery store nowadays has an organic section. If not, there’s bound to be somewhere else close by.

This increasing demand for organic foods comes from consumers who fall into a particular category known as LOHAS. “Lifestyle of health and sustainability,” consumers are not restricted to a single demographic. Millennial, Gen X and Gen Y consumers of all genders help drive the demand for organic foods.

So what’s the big deal about organic food anyway? Organic food needs to come from organic ingredients. In fact, to be certified as organic, products cannot contain ingredients produced with pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or ionizing radiation. Overall, higher quality ingredients mean that consumers can indulge without worrying about what they’re putting in their bodies.

This is likely why the demand for organic candy continues to increase today. Laina Malnight, marketing manager for Chocxo puts it best, “Organic candy, for the most part, is giving consumers a permissible indulgence,” Malnight says in this article by Candyindustry.com. “You can buy the candy or the chocolate, but you feel a little better about it because it’s organic and you know where the ingredients come from.”

Keep an eye out for our next article, which will cover the issues that candy makers commonly encounter when making the switch to organic. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Facebook and Twitter!

The Big Deal About Organics

Organic Logo - The Big Deal About Organics
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The Big Deal About Organics

Nowadays, the term organic describes much more than the way food is processed. In this health-crazed age we live in, organic has become a lifestyle. Within that lifestyle lies a niche that you as a candy company can explore. This is the big deal about organics.

And what better way to explore that niche than with organic candy? Here at Quality Candy, we recently launched our first line of organic products. But before we go any further, let’s quickly break down why organic food is so important to many health conscious consumers.

Organic ingredients are grown without the use of non-organic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, ionized radiation or genetic modification.

When food is genetically modified, the result is an organism that grows bigger, faster and more resistant to pesticides. Genetically modified foods can even be engineered to contain their own preservatives! You don’t have to be a genius to see why so many GMOs are grown every year, but what happens to the consumer?

The Organic Consumers Association

According to the Organic Consumers Association, the number one cause of deteriorating public health amongst adults and children is genetically modified organisms. Genetically engineered ingredients are found in most processed foods in the U.S., even in products labeled “all-natural.” These ingredients are untested and, when consumed, leave behind genetically modified material that may cause long-term health effects.

In fact, according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, genes inserted into genetically modified soy can transfer into the DNA of healthy bacteria living inside our bodies.

Health effects aside, consumers’ biggest worry about GMOs is a lack of transparency. Products containing GMOs are not required to be labeled so many people consume them without knowing. Everyone should have the right to know what he or she is putting inside his or her body, especially if it’s detrimental to one’s health.

The bottom line is that organic food is simply healthier than genetically modified food. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes better too. Still, many people remain unaware of the dangers of GMOs so please share this post! Make sure to follow Quality Candy on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for our latest blog entries. Our next post will talk about how carrying organic candy can help improve your company’s sales.

 

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