December 2, 2023

Natural Food Color Market: An Analysis of Regulatory Support

The global food industry is undergoing a transformative shift as consumers increasingly seek natural and organic options free from synthetic ingredients. This growing awareness of the health benefits and immunity attributes of organic food and colors has fueled a surge in demand for natural food color. Concerns over allergies and potential health risks associated with synthetic food color, including asthma, irritability, and tumor growth, are driving opportunities for natural food color in beverages and convenience foods.

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While synthetic food colors have not been definitively linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), suspicions of a connection between hyperactivity and artificial food colors have prompted a preference for natural alternatives. Brightly colored beverages may be appealing, especially to children, but artificial red dyes, for example, have been associated with impulsiveness and hypertension in children, potentially increasing the risk of ADHD. As a result, the natural food color market is poised for substantial growth in the coming years.

Regulatory Bodies Advocate for Natural Food Color

Regulatory bodies worldwide are taking action to address health concerns related to synthetic food color. Organizations like the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) are lending their support to the use of natural food color. Only food additives deemed safe by these bodies can be used in food product preparation. In addition, regulatory bodies are evaluating the potential health risks of synthetic food dyes, including their potential links to chronic diseases.

For instance, in 2021, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) concluded an evaluation confirming that widely used synthetic colors found in food, such as Yellow 5, Red 40, and Yellow 6, are potentially carcinogenic and may lead to behavioral problems, especially in children. In Europe, the use of unsafe color additives has already been banned, prompting the FDA to reevaluate its regulations. This shift is compelling major brands like Coca Cola, PepsiCo Inc., and Mars to reconsider the use of safe alternatives in their beverage products and snacks. A favorable regulatory environment is expected to positively influence the adoption of various natural food colors, thereby supporting market growth.

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Algae Emerges as a Viable Alternative to Synthetic Dyes

As bans on artificial food dyes take effect in various countries, food manufacturing companies are turning to natural food color additives. The impact of these bans has led to significant reformulations of products such as snacks, beverages, and candies. Algae, with its speedy growth cycle and non-carcinogenic properties, is emerging as a viable alternative to synthetic dyes. Algae offer a wide range of colors and hues, positioning them as prime candidates for the development of natural and safe food dyes.

For instance, Pond Technologies offers a range of red, green, and blue natural food colors derived from algae such as Spirulina. Spirulina and other algae are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, making them a suitable solution to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers.

APAC Shows High Potential; Stable Growth in North America

The natural food color market is expected to witness significant growth in the Asia Pacific region due to the rising adoption of natural food colors and the pervasive clean label trend. Emerging economies like India and China are expected to exhibit high growth potential in natural food color demand. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to increased consumer preference for home-cooked food, further driving the use of natural food color in household cooking. In contrast, moderate growth is anticipated in developed countries in North America, where strict regulations regarding synthetic colors containing arsenic, mercury, and lead continue to influence the adoption of natural food color.

Competitive Landscape

Key players in the natural food color market are poised for an optimistic outlook in the coming years. Manufacturers of natural food color are focusing on new product development and launches, as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions. For example, in June 2021, Symrise AG acquired Oterra’s natural food color business, enhancing its portfolio and expanding into the pet, aquafeed, and nutritional food segments using natural food color. In February 2021, Kraft launched pink Mac & Cheese using natural food colors.

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Leading players in the natural food color market include Archer Daniels Midland, Symrise AG, Kerry Group Plc., Naturex S.A., and Kalsec Inc.

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 – By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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This press release first seen on Brilad