Palm-Free Colours in the Context of Sustainability

Consumers’ interest in respecting and protecting the environment is high, and the topic of sustainability remains omnipresent. Sensient has a strong history of promoting sustainability in a variety of forms. Seven years ago, Sensient Food Colors Europe were pioneers in the introduction of the first palm-free colour range on the market.

Today, the topic of palm-containing ingredients in food and beverage products is broadly discussed and highlighted frequently. In light of the environmental and ethical debate, as well as corporate sustainability agendas, customers contact us more frequently in pursuit of alternative options to palm-containing ingredients.

Europe Tile

In addition, for some consumers, the topic of sustainability can be perceived as a shortcut to healthier food and beverage attributes, as market research company mintel recently pointed out.

In France, for example, “palm-oil free” claims lead to above average purchase intent scores, especially in baker. Mintel published in a recent trend report on French consumers’ opinion about clean label. At the same time, bakery is the segment in which we can observe the highest number of launches with palm-containing ingredients across segments.

Waffle Cookies

Technically speaking, palm-oil based products are highly versatile and effective ingredients, frequently used as food additives. Given Sensient’s focus on understanding and meeting consumer and customer needs, it was necessary to create a new, entirely palm-free product range. Already several years ago and through a dedicated research programme, Sensient started launching solutions with a novel selection of exclusively palm-free components. Extensive validation continues to ensure high stability and safe product performance without compromises.

In certain cases, the regulatory context in some countries or regions can limit alternatives to palm oil. In those instances, we have the clear target to maximize the usage of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) raw material and support the integrity of the trade in sustainable palm oil.


In other cases, Sensient provides a comprehensive range of palm-free colouring foods and natural colours that enable customers to formulate without palm-containing ingredients. The Sensient portfolio provides unique and outstanding colouring solutions, in which not only the active pigment but all ingredients are free of palm-derived components. This vibrant range has identical colouring properties, the same product performance and characteristics and, in fact, in some cases exceeds that of its palm-based product equivalent. Extensive testing has demonstrated excellent stability and effective protection against colour degradation.

Sensient is striving to continuously evolve and expand new product developments based on palm-free ingredients that result in unique and relevant products that add value. The most recent palm-free innovation is our new range of oil dispersible colouring foods, based on proprietary manufacturing technology. These preparations create vivid and attractive colouring effects for products such as decorations, fillings and coatings in bakery or confectionery applications.

Palm Free Collage

Have you discovered the palm-free range available in all shades of the rainbow and for all applications? If you would like to get in touch with us, our expert team would be glad to assist in your palm-free formulations.

If you are interested in more sustainability initiatives from Sensient Food Colors, discover our agronomy program, which we call “seed-to-shelf”.

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