Enduring the heat
Once raw material sources have been secured for natural flavors and colors, next comes the hurdle of processing. Food manufacturing isn’t always friendly to these natural ingredients.
“Many snacks are extruded or oven-baked in typical food processing techniques that use heat or temperature, and natural flavors can be sensitive to these processing techniques,” Mr. Moran said.
Prinova mitigates the loss of flavor due to heat processing by using protected natural flavors less sensitive to heat. Because colors can degrade through heat processing, Prinova offers Lycored natural colors to alleviate any processing challenges that may come up.
“We work directly with customers to understand their process and the other ingredients used in formulations so that we can recommend the most appropriate natural color,” said Larry Davis, commercial director of food and beverage for Prinova.
Among the most challenging artificial colors to replace is FD&C Red No. 40, according to Ms. Rountree. This common artificial color is used in red velvet-flavored cakes or snack bars, and its replacement means finding a heat-stable, pH-stable and kosher natural alternative.
“Until the ‘holy grail’ of Red 40 solutions is discovered, DDW uses some of our technologies with our custom solutions to create viable options,” she said.
Kalsec developed its Durabrite technology to bring stability to naturally sourced colors. This combination of natural raw materials with a stabilizing system keeps colors from degrading across a range of processing conditions.
Kerry’s Crystals line consists of fruit and vegetable powders that maintain the flavor, color and nutrition of the source material. Not only do these powders offer bakers and snack producers the ability to clean up their ingredient statements, but they also are shelf stable, and their powdered form makes them easy to use while still retaining their flavor and color.
The need for natural flavor and color alternatives does not look to be dissipating any time soon. Bakers and snack producers need ones that can consistently deliver the taste and appearance profiles consumers expect but are stable enough to stand up to their processing techniques. With the latest supply and sources, and just the right blends, bakers can find what they need for achieving a clean label and great taste.