Natural Colors Used in Sports Nutrition

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Natural color uses and applications

Average read time: 4 minutes

From sports drinks to dietary supplements to protein bars, the demand for sports nutrition products of all kinds is soaring. In particular, many consumers have started opting for products made from naturally derived ingredients. One of the best ways you can make your mark in this growing market is by adding natural colors to your foods and drinks.

As a leading ingredient distributor, Brenntag North America offers a wide range of natural colors to companies throughout the food and beverage industry. Each natural ingredient is designed to help you thrive in the world of sports nutrition.

Color additives are substances that give color to food, drinks, and cosmetic products. You might add color to food and drink to give it a fun, decorative look or to enhance the product's original hue. In the sports nutrition industry, color is most often used to identify flavors. For example, purple sports drinks are associated with grape flavor, while yellow sports products usually have a citrus-like taste. The FDA includes both synthetic and natural colors in food under its definition of color additives. Artificial ingredients like FD&C Blue No. 1, Green No. 3, Red No. 3, and Yellow are known as certified color additives, which means they must undergo certification each time a company manufactures a new batch. On the other hand, colors gathered from natural sources like fruits or vegetables are exempt from batch certification. However, they must still be approved by the FDA before a company can use them in sports nutrition products.

Natural colors for sports nutrition and functional food and beverages are produced from natural, edible sources. Manufacturers can obtain these colors either through physical or chemical means. The result is a selective extraction of the ingredient's pigments, which can then be turned into a liquid, gel, powder, or paste, depending on the product you want to color. It is then added to the food or beverage.

As more consumers demand naturally sourced products, manufacturers are finding new ways to pigment their sports nutrition products naturally. While you can use many vegetables, plants, minerals, fruits, and other natural materials for the colors they produce, some of the most common include anthocyanin, chlorophyll, betanin, beta-carotene, and carmine.

Attractive young blonde sportswoman is refreshing with cold drink after jogging in nature on sunny summer day at sunset

Ingredients in natural colors explained

  • Annatto: A pigment found in the seeds from the small tree, Bixa Orellana, helps achieve yellow, orange, and red shades.
  • Anthocyanin: It is used in water-soluble pigments found in cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries that produce deep blue and purple colors.
  • Betanin: A dye obtained from beets that creates a bright blue-red color used in yogurts and powdered drinks.
  • Beta-Carotine: A carotenoid with a deep orange, red, or yellow color found in many fruits and plants.
  • Carmine: Produces an especially red pigment obtained from the cochineal insect and is often used in yogurts, juices, and some medications.
  • Chlorophyll: A pigment that is found in all green plants and used to color lime-flavored products and dry citrus-based beverage mixes. Currently under petition in the U.S. to expand application usage.
  • Turmeric: A bright greenish, yellow color, originates from the root of the Curcuma plant (Curcuma longa).

Get in contact for natural sports ingredients

If you create drinks and beverages for the sports nutrition industry, not just any products will do. Your ingredients must meet quality standards and satisfy your commitment to giving your customers the best possible results. If you are looking for additives that will uphold this commitment to quality, turn to the professionals at Brenntag.

We believe it is our responsibility to help you achieve the utmost safety and performance in your products, which is why we offer a range of natural ingredients created from ISO-compliant facilities .

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