A cost-competitive, natural alternative to Red 40

A cost-competitive, natural alternative to Red 40
Press ReleaseAug 25. 2014 09:13 GMT

Are you concerned about the current price increases for the synthetic food colorant Red 40? There is a stable, cost-efficient substitute available which is based on color pigments derived from nature: Ultra Stable Red™

Food and beverage manufacturers have a long tradition for using Red 40 (or Allura Red), a synthetic food color, to ensure the visual appeal for their finished products. Currently the food industry is experiencing hefty price increases for Red 40, mostly due to a cost increase for p-cresidine sulfonic acid, a synthetic chemical which is used in the manufacture of Red 40. Consequently the industry is looking for replacement opportunities.

An opportunity to go natural
“Our best advice to food manufacturers, who are concerned about the price fluctuations for Red 40, is to use this as an opportunity to switch to a naturally derived alternative, namely our Ultra Stable Red™. Ultra Stable Red™ is our range of beautifully bright and intense, vegetable-based colors which demonstrate outstanding performance and stability,” says Byron Madkins, Americas Director of Business Development, Chr. Hansen.

“Not only do the Ultra Stable Red™ products offer a close shade match to Red 40, they are also 20-40% more stable than other natural red shades based on popular anthocyanin sources such as grape skin and black carrot. And with the cost increase for p-cresidine sulfonic acid which is driving up prices for Red 40, now is an opportune time to switch to a stable, cost-effective natural alternative,” Byron Madkins recommends.

The Ultra Stable Red™ solutions are based on unique, vegetable-based anthocyanin sources. The products are available in liquid and powder forms. The range was originally developed for beverage applications but Chr. Hansen’s R&D and Applications Teams globally have worked to further optimize the formulations in the range, allowing for them to be suitable for most low pH products and applications, including confectionary, dairy and fruit preparations, and prepared foods.

A global consumer trend 

Chr. Hansen’s Peter Thorninger, VP, Natural Colors Commercial Development elaborates: “We know from market research that the vast majority of consumers prefer natural colorants in their food products. Globally we have observed this trend for years, and now we see a growing number of food manufacturers in the US buying into the trend as well. At Chr. Hansen we are devoted to developing the best natural color solutions, which is the primary reason why we have recently built a new anthocyanin plant where we process and formulate our Ultra Stable Red™ solutions. With Red 40 being so costly at the moment, we have the best natural red solution and are ready to help our customers switch.”


Chr. Hansen is a leading, global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. We develop and produce cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors for a rich variety of foods, confectionery, beverages, dietary supplements and even animal feed and plant protection. Our product innovation is based on more than 30,000 microbial strains – we like to refer to them as ‘good bacteria’. Our solutions enable food manufacturers to produce more with less – while also reducing the use of chemicals and other synthetic additives – which make our products highly relevant in today’s world. We have been delivering value to our partners – and, ultimately, end consumers worldwide – for over 140 years. We are proud that more than one billion people consume products containing our natural ingredients every day. Revenue in the 2017/18 financial year was EUR 1,097 million. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.