Anthocyanin is the international food and beverage industry’s preferred natural food colors in shades ranging from orange, red, pink and purple to blue. Chr. Hansen offers a full range of anthocyanin natural food color solutions as well as a range of fruit juice and vegetable concentrates. Anthocyanins offer good light, heat and pH stability in most applications and can withstand pasteurization and ultra-heat treatment (UHT).
Origin of anthocyanin
Anthocyanin is a natural pigment (labeled E163 in Europe) found widely in nature from edible fruits and vegetables such as grape, sweet potato, elderberry, red radish, red cabbage, blackcurrant, and black carrot. The color shade is pH dependent, orange-red in acid solutions and violet-blue in alkaline. Due to certain technical properties these sources are very stable to light, pH and heat. This makes them excellent replacers of artificial red food colors.
Sourcing of anthocyanin
Chr. Hansen has developed an international sourcing network in Europe, mainly in the Mediterranean region. For example, Chr. Hansen has an extended sourcing network for grape in the three main anthocyanin countries France, Italy and Spain. This network allows us to secure high quality products every year and all over the year. In the middle of this sourcing network, our "state of the art" natural colors factory in Italy is producing finished goods according to high quality food industry standards, with traceability from the field to the finished product.
Usage of anthocyanin
The many different types of anthocyanin natural food color solutions technically allow almost any food or beverage to be colored from orange, red, pink and purple to blue. However, anthocyanin is most commonly used for coloring of beverages, fruit preparations, confectionery and ice cream.
History and future of anthocyanin
Anthocyanins started to be commercially produced 30 years ago and Chr. Hansen is a pioneer in this pigment. Our first production of anthocyanins took place in the early 1970s in our unit located on the outskirts of Montpellier, right in the heart of the Southern French vineyard. The first anthocyanins which were extracted came from grape skins, blackcurrant skins and elderberry. Being polyphenols, attention has gathered on the possible health benefits of the anthocyanins in recent years. This feature of the pigment is likely to be increasingly used in the future, both in functional foods and health food products.