Natural Blue – Closing the Gap in Canada

April 2015

In many ways, Canada is the leader in North America when it comes to natural color adoptions. Several high profile brands and some leading retailers have already made a commitment to using colors from natural sources. However, until now, no natural source of blue color was permitted by Health Canada for use in food and beverage. Spirulina, for example, is approved by the FDA in the US but not yet allowed in Canada. The approval of Sensient’s Natural Blue closes this significant gap in the natural color market.

On April 16, 2015, Natural Blue was approved in Canada as an acceptable coloring agent from an anthocyanin source meeting the Food Chemical Codex (FCC). The color source is now a permitted food additive on Health Canada’s List of Permitted Colouring Agents.

The approval from Health Canada is the culmination of a year-long review by the agency to ensure the health and safety of the color for consumers.

Sensient’s Natural Blue (anthocyanin) is a stable, water soluble natural blue color with minimal global regulatory constraints and suitable for beverage and food applications. It will maintain a denim blue shade at a pH above 3.8, similar to the Canadian color Indigo Carmine or US FD&C Blue 2.

From a labeling perspective, food brands that employ Sensient Natural Blue have the option of using either “Anthocyanin Colour” or simply “Colour” on packaging. As an acceptable anthocyanin source, there are no prescribed maximum usage limits, although manufacturers must follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

This exciting development will open the door to many new natural color options. Natural blue gives developers a new crayon in the box and can be used to create a range of green, brown and purple shades.

For those interested in learning more about using natural blue in panning applications, be sure to check out Gale Myers’ blog post on the subject.

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