Nutritional Outlook: Anthocyanins pull double duty as health-promoting ingredients and natural food colors
Natural colors are being widely adopted in the food, nutrition, and beverages industries, gradually replacing their synthetic counterparts. Natural colors accounted for almost 70% of the total colors market in 2021, compared to 2010 when they accounted for only 40% of the total market. The extensive use of natural colors in functional foods and nutritional supplements has raised interesting discussions about whether or not these natural colors can also impart any nutritional value to food.
Natural colors in their original environment—in raw materials such as beets, berries, or turmeric roots—have biological functions that came about as evolutionary advantages that sometimes translate to functional properties, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components, which are found to be beneficial to consumers.
Natural colors such as betalains, curcumins, and carotenoids are rich in a few micronutrients such as vitamins, carotenoids, and minerals. The value they add to the final food product is significantly marginal, however, as these colors are added in only minute concentrations (less than 1% in most cases).
This article was originally published on Nutritional Outlook. To read more visit Nutritional Outlook.