Everything you need can be found in nature, and a company called Colourfood Professional is out to prove that. The German manufacturers create vegan food colours that are made exclusively from fruit, vegetables and edible plants. No chemicals or additives are used.
We spoke with Managing Director Alexander Hautmann about this new product, its applications and future prospects.
Why did you feel the need to develop vegan colours?
The vision was to produce truly natural food colours or more precisely “colouring foods” from colourful fruit, vegetables and edible plants, and to completely dispense with synthetic ingredients and additives. The needs of consumers are increasingly moving towards genuine naturalness (without additives) and transparency. This means that of course the industry as well as the professional users in the food service sector are increasingly adapting to these trends. With the Colourfood Professional range, we offer confectioners, bakers, restaurateurs, ice cream manufacturers, etc. a genuine alternative for working with clean labels – i.e. without additives – in applications. Because of the raw materials used and the production processes, our colouring foods do not have to be labelled as additives (E numbers).
What is the basis for your vegan food colours?
Our philosophy – “From the field directly into the bottle. Pure colours made from 100% fruit and vegetables” – actually brings it pretty much to the point. Our colouring foods are made from ripe and colour-intensive fruit, vegetables and edible plants. And also in the production only physical processes are used, like cutting, heating and filtering as well as water as process medium. We completely dispense with the use of organic solvents, dyes and preservatives and of course ingredients of animal origin. Another special feature is that our products can be eaten at any time during the production process – they are and remain food!
Which product range do you currently offer?
We came onto the market in March this year and presented ourselves for the first time at the Internorga in Hamburg. We started with a range of water-soluble, liquid products in a 250g bottle. Here we offer the six colour tones: Cherry-Red, Carrot-Orange, Spirulina-Blue, Grape-Violet, Lemon-Yellow and Apple-Green. The great demand surprised us and it quickly became clear that we also needed a larger unit. Therefore we already introduced a 1.25 kg unit in May.e in his communication with the consumer/guest and raises his products to a new quality level.
Which ingredients could be non-vegan in colours from other manufacturers?
A well-known example is the colour E120, also known as “real carmine”. Genuine carmine is obtained from the dried females of scarlet scale insects, which live on a certain type of cactus mainly in Mexico and Peru. The pigment carminic acid can be isolated from the louse by extraction.
Are there disadvantages/differences in the use of vegan colours?
No, not at all. You may need to know a few product properties and be a little more involved with the product, but the results are beautiful and brilliant colors.
In our range, for example, the varieties Cherry-red and Grape-violet react to the prevailing pH value with different colour tones. The higher the pH value, the bluer the shade and the lower the pH value, the redder the shade. If I know this, I can consciously influence the colour tones in the desired direction. We try to give the relevant knowledge about the products to the user quickly and easily and are also there to help with words and deeds.
What new products will you be presenting in the coming weeks and months?
The liquid products mentioned are very well suited for colouring creams, toppings, ice creams or drinks, for example. However, there are also applications in which a powder can be better converted. In January 2019, for example, we will be launching a new range of powders in the five strong shades, Spirulina Blue, Grape Violet, Apple Green, Lemon Yellow and Unicorn Pink, with which chocolate or macaroon can be perfectly coloured.
The colouring foods from us meet with lively interest and not only in the food service sector. Every day we receive several inquiries from private individuals who are desperately looking for truly natural alternatives to the existing food colours and have come across Colourfood Professional. We now want to meet this demand and launch a range of powders for the end consumer under our brand ‘Eat a Rainbow‘ at the beginning of 2019.
In which products are your colours already used?
Our products are already used in a variety of applications. These include in particular baked goods (cupcakes, cakes, donuts, doughnuts, etc.), ice cream, sweets, drinks in the bar area, sauces and dishes in gastronomy.
How do you assess the developments in the colour sector – will everyone switch to vegan colours in the future?
The market for vegan colours/colouring foods will certainly continue to grow due to prevailing trends and consumer awareness. A complete displacement of the classical food colours will however not occur so quickly, because the colouring food simply requires a little more effort from the user.