Chromologics addresses natural colors challenges with precision fermentation

18 Jun 2021

Danish food coloring technology company, Chromologics is developing a platform to address the lack of variety in the high-performance, animal-free, sustainable food colorings market. Its first foray into the space is with the color red, and the company has developed a proprietary plant-based version is called ChromoRed.

Natural reds are typically from a source called carmine, which derived from the shells of beetles and insects that are crushed for color. However, this choice is not suitable for all consumers, particularly those following vegan diets. While there are various plant-based reds available on the market, current alternatives though do not always provide the same vibrant red as they lack solubility or are temperature sensitive. Furthermore, the biggest barrier in the development of a widespread, plant-based red is price.

Chromologics addresses natural colors challenges with precision fermentation

In 2011, the natural colorings market overtook the synthetic colors market in terms of size, according to Mintel data. Since then, the market has continued to grow, but the options for natural food colorings have remained pricey. Experts cited in the Chicago Tribune have claimed that due to a lack of hue vibrancy as well as ingredient price, using natural food dyes can cost tenfold the price of a synthetic equivalent.

Chromologics is looking to change that narrative through precision fermentation. Representatives from the company told Food Navigator that this approach is “scalable [and] cost competitive.”

In its quest to become the market leader in natural color solutions, Chromologics relies on fungal fermentation to produce a colorant that does not contain any allergy-triggering protein residues and is pH as well as temperature stable. The research startup’s red also does not have any taste or odor and is water-soluble, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

With an effective and colorful technology in hand, this Danish startup is working on gaining regulatory approval for the use of its natural colors in the U.S. and Europe. While approval is still in process, Chromologics is using its recent €1.9 million ($2.3 million) in seed round funding to accelerate its growth efforts, which includes not only bringing its ChromoRed to market as fast as possible but also working on additional natural coloring solutions to increase its portfolio of innovative, sustainable offerings. Representatives from the company told Food Navigator that they eventually envision “adding other colors of the rainbow.”

Related news

Are new WHO sweeteners guidelines ‘a disservice’ to public health?

Are new WHO sweeteners guidelines ‘a disservice’ to public health?

6 Sep 2022

New draft recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) warn that zero-calorie sweeteners should not be used to help weight control or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases’ (NCDs) – sparking mixed reactions from industry groups.

Read more 
Healthier products cannot tackle obesity crisis alone, says expert, as Nestlé discontinues non-HFSS Shreddies

Healthier products cannot tackle obesity crisis alone, says expert, as Nestlé discontinues non-HFSS Shreddies

17 Aug 2022

Creating lower-sugar products will “not solve the obesity crisis by itself, especially if these options are so quickly discontinued”, says one expert, as Nestlé withdraws its non-high-fat-high-sugar (HFSS) ‘Shreddies The Simple One’ breakfast cereal af...

Read more 
Capri Sun adds monk fruit to US juice drinks to reduce sugar by 40%

Capri Sun adds monk fruit to US juice drinks to reduce sugar by 40%

15 Aug 2022

With parents increasingly focusing on reducing their children’s sugar intake, Kraft Heinz is using monk fruit to cut sugar in US Capri Sun products to deliver on both taste and health credentials.

Read more 
Activists sue Turkish government for ‘unconstitutional’ banning of vegan cheese

Activists sue Turkish government for ‘unconstitutional’ banning of vegan cheese

8 Aug 2022

Activists in Turkey have slammed the government’s decision to ban the production and sale of vegan cheese products in the country as unconstitutional, with lawsuits and a 7,200-strong petition under way.

Read more 
Chickpea revolution? Companies looking to innovate could face higher prices as global shortage hits

Chickpea revolution? Companies looking to innovate could face higher prices as global shortage hits

5 Aug 2022

From coffee to ice cream, recent product launches demonstrate how companies are betting on chickpea in the plant-based revolution… but could a global shortage scupper innovation?

Read more 
A switch to alternative proteins could be cheapest and highest impact solution to climate crisis – report

A switch to alternative proteins could be cheapest and highest impact solution to climate crisis – report

22 Jul 2022

Shifting to alternative proteins could be the “most capital-efficient and high-impact” solution to today’s climate crisis, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which suggests more than 30% of consumers are willing to fully swap...

Read more 
Oman authorities put food security and sustainability centre stage with ‘transformative’ investments

Oman authorities put food security and sustainability centre stage with ‘transformative’ investments

21 Jul 2022

New technologies and initiatives to promote sustainable food systems, healthy diets and improved food and nutrition security have attracted the backing of authorities in the Gulf country Oman.

Read more 
French ban on ‘meaty’ descriptions for plant-based products will harm local industry

French ban on ‘meaty’ descriptions for plant-based products will harm local industry

14 Jul 2022

The new French legislation banning the use of ‘meaty’ terms such as “sausage,” “steak,” and “nuggets” is self-destructive to its own food manufacturing industry, commenters have lamented.

Read more 
Europe’s plant-based boom: Opportunities for brands

Europe’s plant-based boom: Opportunities for brands

6 Jul 2022

The plant-based alternative sector is rapidly expanding, in Europe and further afield. What are consumers demanding, and where do the opportunities lie for brands?

Read more 
Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners

Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners

30 Jun 2022

Finnish company Fazer is transforming the oat hull side streams from its existing oat mill into the low-calorie sweetener, xylitol.

Read more