Natural Color Innovation in Marshmallows and Marbits

November 2016

Natural Color Opportunity in Novelty Treats

Commonly seen roasting over a campfire, the marshmallow is a novelty food that brings much cheer to consumers and seasonal joy to many categories. Most seasonal marshmallow launches have been focused in one category — the bag of puffed marshmallows found in baking aisles. The lack of variety suggests there is untapped potential for brands to further innovate around seasons in other aisle categories with marshmallows and marbits.

Today’s consumers expect to see healthier and more creative offerings from food brands through ingredient innovation: reimagined flavors, unique texture combinations, and explorations in color. Natural food coloring is an adventurous way for brands to differentiate products and better communicate seasonal offerings. Food color from botanical sources provides brands a way to present the art of eating while also catering to consumer preference for simple, wholesome ingredients. Naturally colored marshmallows and marbits can enhance a product’s visual appearance by their colorful cues of holiday and seasonal cheer.

When naturally coloring novelty treats like marshmallows and marbits, ensuring the flavor and structure are not compromised during the color application is critical.

Let’s look at four possibilities that could affect your fluffy delicacies when formulating with natural color solutions:

 

Common Problems and Solutions with Natural Color Formulation in Marshmallows & Marbits


BASE INGREDIENTS + COLOR SOLUTION = LUMPY MARSHMALLOW & MARBIT

Problem: Certain secondary ingredients in the color solution could react with the marshmallow or marbit’s base material and affect its end structure.Solution: Sensient’s Application Specialist can create a customized color solution compatible with diverse base ingredients.


COLOR SOLUTION INGREDIENTS OVERPOWER MARSHMALLOW & MARBIT DENSITY

Problem: Some color systems’ emulsifiers could affect the texture consistency of the marshmallow and marbit, especially after exposure to certain liquids (milk or water).Solution: Color solutions can be tailored around any possible liquid systems to help maintain the shape and structure of the marshmallow or marbit.


HIGH USAGE OF COLOR HINDERS MARSHMALLOW & MARBIT TEXTURE

Problem: Depending on target shade, higher usage rates of natural color are necessary to achieve bolder and darker shades which could affect the marshmallow and marbit texture.Solution: Consider highly concentrated natural color solutions that allow for low usage rates, like Sensient’s SupraRed™.


NATURAL COLORS = POTENTIAL FLAVOR OFF-NOTES
Problem: Natural colors impart their botanical sources’ tastes into color solutions sometimes, especially when high usage rates are necessary to obtain vivid target shades.Solution: Explore color solutions utilizing gentle purification technologies like Sensient’s
Pure-S™ that remove unwanted flavor profiles.

It is important to note that every solution will depend on a food manufacturers’ processing, end-application, and target shade.

Seasonal Marshmallow Product Ideations and Color Solutions
Solution:
Heat-stable, natural reds at low usage rates like Sensient’s SupraRed™ that survive the heat processing temperatures of baking are ideal solutions here.
Solution:
Custom blends of a deodorized Paprika, like Pure-S™ Paprika, with Natural Blues provide perfect shades of Pumpkin Orange.
Solution:
From pastel to bright lemon yellows, custom blends of beta-carotenes and turmeric create a broad range of yellow shades.

  • The use of Turmeric will depend on packaging due to its sensitivity to light
Solution:
Tailored blends of Blues (Natural Blue or Spirulina) and Yellows (Turmeric or Annatto) deliver a palette of green shades.

  • The use of Turmeric will depend on packaging due to its sensitivity to light
Solution:
From sky to denim blues, Sensient’s Natural Blue or Spirulina add bursts of brilliant blues for any 4th of July holiday offering.
Solution:
For berry purples, blends of anthocyanin vegetable juices produce hearty purple shades.
Solution:
For brilliant shades of brown, there are a couple different options free of caramel.

  1. Sienna fruit juice offers cost-in-use advantages
  2. Natural Blues (Natural Blue or Spirulina) + Reds (SupraRed) + Yellows (Turmeric or Annatto)
  • The use of Turmeric will depend on packaging due to its sensitivity to light

If you’d like to talk through specific strategies or ideations for your marbits and marshmallows, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by requesting a consult.

Let’s perfect these puffed delights together!

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