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Extensive Applications of Natural Food Colors

Author: Arslan Khan
by Arslan Khan
Posted: Feb 11, 2019
natural food

Food and beverage industry has been a constant juggle between processing nutritional food and making it appealing for the consumers. With a widespread misconception that the nutritional food does not taste good, the demand for food colors has been increased to enhance the flavor and look of the food. However, the artificial colors used for the preparation of food poses serious health issues including cancer and severe allergies. Rising health consciousness amongst people is fortifying the need to provide a healthy food coloring solution. This need has been addressed with the help of natural food color.

Natural food colours are the types of dyes or pigments added to food, in the bid to enhance its visual appeal. The ingredients used for coloring are usually extracted from the vegetables, fruits, combinations of metallic and organic compounds, and organic pigments. Robust growth of the natural food colors market has been witnessed, owing to the increasing inclination of consumers towards natural products.

Food colors suit the need for the processing of a variety of food products ranging from tablets, hard candies, gummies, panned candies, pectin-based candies, and gums. They are extensively utilized for the processing of sugar-free products and even vitamin tablets and similar health ingredients. Amongst the raw materials utilized for manufacturing natural food colors, plant-based dyes are preferred the most, on the back of its medicinal values.

Demand for the natural food colour has been growing linearly on the back of myriads of benefits:

To enhance the color of the food

To prevent vitamins and flavors from getting damaged due to excessive light

To mask the naturally-occurring variations in food

To enhance the flavor of food

To maintain the nutritional value

To change the color of a beverage

Manufacturing Methods for Natural Food Colours

The extraction of natural colors begins by processing the vegetables, fruits, minerals, or animal products. The manufacturing process of natural food colors is as mentioned below:

Selection Process: The first step includes understanding the requirement of the color and selecting the right raw materials for processing. The raw materials are then washed thoroughly.

Crushing: The clean raw materials are then milled or crushed for converting them into a fine powder.

Straining and Fining: The powder is then strained and big particles are separated out of them and the powder is further polished.

Pasteurizing and Concentrating: The next step is to pasteurize the powder, in order to enhance the quality of the natural food colors.

Both liquid and powder form of natural food colors can be manufactured with the above mentioned process. The color clarity of these natural colors can range between cloudy and clear.

Applications of Natural Food Colors

Owing to the advancements in the food and beverage industry, natural food colors find a broad spectrum of application. Some of its applications are as listed below:


Various bakery products such as Cookies, Biscuits, Pastries, Cakes, and Cake Mixes use natural food color for enhancing the flavor and color of these products. The food colors used have a high purity level and quality. They are processed by using the best grade of raw materials.


Food color in the beverage industry is used for manufacturing cold drinks, dry mixes, and juices. These food colors add flavor and color to these drinks. They are manufactured by using organic substances.


Confectionery products such as chewing gums, jellies, cream, and chews utilize natural food colors for their manufacturing.

Cosmetics and Toiletries:

Utilized in manufacturing nail polishes and lipsticks, natural food colors find their applications in the cosmetic industry. Usually, Lake Colors are incorporated into the manufacturing of cosmetics and toiletries.

Dairy and Ice Cream:

Another segment in the food and beverage industry, dairy, uses natural food colors in huge amounts for the processing of Ice Creams, Cheese, Water Ices, and Milkshakes. These colors help makes the dairy products more flavorful.


The natural food colors utilized in pharmaceuticals industry are usually versatile and adaptable. They are used for manufacturing tablets, gels, mouth wash, and injectable.


Food and beverage industry has been going through an innovative phase. A major share of it can be attributed to the natural food colors, which are used for the processing of food and drinks. The blend of technology in the food colors market is one of the most dominant reasons for the growth of the market. This helps in yielding a higher quality of natural color.

The natural food pigments can be manufactured from the ingredients hailing from the kitchen. Vegetables and fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, tomato, beets, sweet potato, paprika, carrots, turmeric, saffron, spinach, matcha,

red cabbage, tea, coffee, cocoa, and activated charcoals can be used to process natural food colors. However, it is important to realize the flavor of the fruit and vegetable before using it.

About the Author

Arslan Khan is currently living in Delhi, working as a Senior Research Manager @ Fact.MR. He is a blogger with unique content each time.

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Author: Arslan Khan

Arslan Khan

Member since: Dec 13, 2017
Published articles: 27

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