© Phytolon


Ginkgo Bioworks and Phytolon Partnership Unlocks Full Yellow-to-Purple Spectrum in Natural Food Colors

Ginkgo Bioworks and Phytolon have announced the successful completion of the first development milestone in their partnership, unlocking the full color palette of the yellow-to-purple spectrum accessible for Phytolon’s natural food colors. Phytolon’s natural betalain pigments, derived from foods like beets and cactus fruit, present a safe and sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes. With heightened scrutiny and bans on synthetic dyes, this new innovation aims to address growing regulatory concerns and consumer demand for nature-derived products. After being founded in 2018, Phytolon secured $4.1 million in 2020 to bring its fermented food colors to market, focusing on product development and refining its fermentation technology. The company has been actively seeking partnerships ever since to enhance its technology and expand its market reach. The partnership with …


red algae close up

Red algae ©Danita Delimont


Coloring the Future of Plant-Based: v2Foods’ Color-Changing Algae, Exberry’s Realistic Red for Alt Meat, and ADM’s Pistachio Greens

What will future plant-based foods look like? Here we highlight v2food‘s new red algae-derived ingredient that changes color while it cooks; EXBERRY‘s Compound Red which creates realistic color changes in the cooking process of plant-based meat; and ADM’s color and flavor trends for 2024. v2food’s color-changing algal tech Plant-based meat company v2food has unveiled RepliHue, a new color system made from red algae for plant-based meat at Australia’s renowned discovery stage South by Southwest. According to v2food, RepliHue’s red algae is produced sustainably, capturing carbon dioxide and harnessing light as an energy source. RepliHue is a new type of ingredient that is said to be capable of mimicking the color of meat during different cooking timings. It reacts to heat exposure, displaying different pink and brown shades …


EXBERRY by GNT new vivid orange features in foods



This Week in the Plant-Based Food Color Scene: New All-Terrain Vivid Orange and Fruity Blends for Meat Alternatives

This week sees plant-based food color NPDs from EXBERRY and Oterra. F&B manufacturers will leverage a new vivid orange for the confectionary and snacks and new fruity blends for meat analogs that change hues when cooked. As the sustainability trend demands a shift to plant-based foods and cosmetics, color additives derived from plants and minerals are in the spotlight as alternatives to colors synthesized from petroleum raw materials or insect-derived carmine (a cochineal extract). Color additives enhance food’s appeal, making it attractive, appetizing, and informative: “If that looks good, it must taste good.” According to Oterra, color influences 50-85% of​ purchase decisions. Besides plant-based colors, biotechnology is also developing color alternatives with companies such as Danish Chromologics, which uses fungal fermentation to make pigments that …


Chromologics red food color alternative

© Chromologics

Investments & Finance

Chromologics Raises €12.6M for Fungus Alternative to Carmine and Red 40 Food Colorings

Chromologics, a Danish biotech company developing fungal fermentation solutions for natural pigments, has raised €12.6 million in a seed round to commercialize its red food color alternative produced by a non-GMO fungus. The investment arm of the Danish ingredients company Döhler, Döhler Ventures and the capital firm Thia Ventures joined as new investors while existing investors backed the biotech company with an additional €7.1 million in equity in an extended round.  “We are thrilled to be able to accelerate our commercial development and welcome two new, strong investors, Doehler Ventures and Thia Ventures,” said Gerit Tolborg, CEO of Chromologics. Chromologics’ investors include Novo Holdings, Nordic Foodtech VC, Danmarks Eksport- og Investeringsfond, and Blue Horizon. Replacing carmine and Red 40 The Danish company was founded in …


Michroma Natural Food Colorings


Investments & Finance

Michroma Closes $6.4M in Seed to Commercialize ‘High Performance’ Natural Food Colorings From Mushrooms

Precision fermentation startup Michroma announces it has closed $6.4M in seed financing to fast-track commercialization of its sustainable, mushroom-derived natural food coloring. The round, led by General Mills-backed Supply Chain Capital, will also help the startup expand research and development capabilities and broaden its ingredient platform.  Founded in 2019, Michroma is working to disrupt the global ingredients industry with high-performance colorants made from fungi through precision fermentation. To achieve this, Michroma focuses on creating ‘fungal biofactories’ to produce small molecules, like colors, more efficiently. “We see compelling market and consumer potential for Michroma’s fungal platform to create next-generation natural ingredients, from colorants to flavors, that are healthier and more sustainable while maximizing production efficiency,” said Noramay Cadena, Supply Change Capital’s Managing Director and Michroma Board …