Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery, March 2018: Consumers looking for ethnic experiences create opportunity for innovation

3/20/18: This is an excerpt from an article published in the March 2018 issue of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, which includes an editorial contribution by Brian Sethness. To read the complete article, go to our link below.

Written by Joyce Friedberg

Natural, clean-label color

The appearance of a product is a vital sensory attribute. Before consumers taste the food, they develop an expectation of what it will taste like based on the color and appearance. One of the most widely used food coloring is caramel coloring used across a broad number of applications, including breads, cookies, cake mixes, chips, crackers and popcorn.

There is a shift to replace FD&C certified colors with more natural options. “Caramel colors are often the first replacement evaluated in these situations,” says Brian Sethness, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Sethness Products Co., Skokie, IL. “Caramel colors will not offer the same bright shades as these dyes, but oftentimes companies do not want their finished product to look ‘artificial’ or too bright.” He notes caramel colors are more subtle in color, and one of the benefits is that they are produced under high heat conditions so they are stable across a broad range of manufacturing processes.

Class 1 Caramel Colors, which are defined as minimally processed, do not use ammonium or sulfide compounds in production and have the European designation E150a, are becoming the fastest-growing segment of caramel colors since they meet consumer demand for cleaner labels, notes Sethness. “The most-popular new Class 1 items we offer are our Certified Organic OC234 Powder and our Non-GMO Project Verified SB245. With the growth of organic snacks, there are minimal coloring options, and the OC234 fills that niche effectively. It is being used frequently in new organic breads that are sold into major natural food grocery chains.”

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