A warning notice will have to be put on food and beverage packages from mid 2010, that they contain one of six azo dyes in question. It’s very likely that other synthetic colours will also be of concern in the future.
How are you able to help manufacturers of juice and dairy drinks?
Paul Collins: Ours is an international company manufacturing colouring foodstuffs which we process from primary raw material (fruit, vegetables and other plants). So we control the supply chain, which in turn allows us to guarantee quality, authenticity and availability – all critical parameters. These concentrates impart colour to a wide range of beverage applications, giving beverages an appetising appearance and the clean label that’s increasingly demanded by consumers.
GNT has operations in all of the major European markets, and in each facility we have a team of technologists who can provide technical, commercial and regulatory support. We undertake many customer-specific projects in complete confidence and can advise on the optimum choice for a real natural and clean label colour. We can also assist with stability assessment.
In the past 18 months, we’ve been heavily engaged in assisting beverage manufacturers to replace artificial colours, and this continues as beverage manufacturers seek to avoid the necessity of negative labelling claims which will become mandatory for the six Southampton colours later in 2010.
Our colouring foodstuffs provide a natural way of colouring with a clear declaration. On the label, the individual concentrate sources (eg ‘pumpkin’, ‘elderberry’) are named, so consumers aren’t confused by ‘E’ numbers and complex scientific terms.
What do you see as the colours of the future?
Collins: For GNT, the answer to this question is quite easy since we have always had the passion and belief that the most natural, healthy and clean label way to provide colour to beverages is to use fruit, vegetable and plant concentrates. To put it simply, we would say ‘colouring food and drink with food’ rather than using chemicals. This has always been the belief of GNT since the company was established 30 years ago.
Clearly, artificial colours have had their day; they’re simply not accepted by consumers who have become discerning and aware of the potential negative aspects of such chemicals. It’s no surprise that manufacturers and retailers are responding to this consumer demand, and in switching from artificial colours, we feel it’s important to offer consumers a genuine and real natural alternative rather than something that has been chemically modified or contains other chemical substances.
The role of GNT is to work with customers to allow them to choose the best alternative that meets this consumer need. In our mind, there’s no question that our fruit, vegetable and plant concentrates meet this challenge.
*Paul Collins is managing director of The GNT Group. Claire Phoenix is editor of Beverage Innovation magazine.*
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