Alternative Heat-Stable Red Color for Meat

April 8, 2011

An all-natural, heat-stable red colorant is designed to serve as an alternative in meat applications for the dye carmine, which is derived from the cochineal insect.

An all-natural, heat-stable red colorant is designed to serve as an alternative in meat applications for the dye carmine, which is derived from the cochineal insect.

Vitiva (Slovenia), which launched the Bright’nRED HS colorant, says that traditionally, the meat industry has used carmine because of its appealing pink color and because it can sustain the fresh appearance of meat and various meat products. However, the company says, carmine prices rose last year and will continue to remain high for the next two years due to supply limitations.

“There is a growing demand for replacing the carmine color with an all-natural and vegetarian colorant,” said Ohad Cohen, Vitiva’s CEO. “This product is the best alternative to carmine because it matches the desired carmine shades, while being of vegetal origin, 100% natural, and nonallergen.”

The ingredient is derived from a specially stabilized beetroot extract. Cohen says the ingredient also offers clean-label benefits.

“The result of the extraction and of the chemical process involved in the making of the carmine color is a color that is not 100% natural and recently, the FDA required food manufacturers using carmine to label it namely as ‘carmine color’ instead of being nonspecific as before, mainly due to the potential risk carmine poses as a food allergen.” By contrast, he says, “Bright’nRED [offers] clean-label solutions.”