New Purple Beverages with Butterfly Pea Flower Extract

purple beverages

Color Amplifies
Trending Flavors

Consumers seeking products that enhance or elevate an experience is nothing new.

In recent years, unique and unusual concepts like mermaid and galaxy themed products have captured shopper attention with bright purples and blues.

Upcoming consumer trends also predict a rise in products that align with calming and stress relief to help ease the anxiety and overwhelm that so many are facing today. Flavor profiles like lavender and chamomile connect with colors in the purple-to-blue range that are naturally associated with calming, self-care, and relaxation.

Historically, purple has been a challenge for developers. Blends of synthetic Red 40 and Blue 1 produce a stable purple in beverage applications, but this combination has an unavoidable gray note and doesn’t reach the pure, bright purples sought for otherworldly or relaxing products. Limited natural blue options with water stability in turn limit purples. Fortunately, a stable purple solution has entered the conversation.

Butterfly Pea Flower Extract Adds Exciting Purple to Beverage Libraries

The options for stable natural blues have been few and far between for food and beverage developers.

Spirulina and huito are both available on the market today, but neither offers both wide-ranging stability and bright clean blue or purple hues. Spirulina is sensitive to heat, high water activity, and acid; while huito is lacks the vibrancy many brands seek, with unavoidable gray notes.

huito and spirulina beverages

Butterfly pea flower extract is a novel botanical color source that offers heat, light, and water stability in a unique blue or purple hue depending on the acidity of the product.

Learn More About FDA Approval of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract Here

purple flower

As an anthocyanin, the acid stability of this solution is somewhat unusual: Generally, anthocyanin-based colors are limited to low pH environments due to acid sensitivity, but unlike other anthocyanins, butterfly pea flower extract is stable across a much wider pH range, even as the pH approaches 7.

In low pH environments, typically pH below 3.8, it provides a vibrant, clean purple hue that is not possible with synthetic colors or other natural color sources. In more basic environments, where the pH is above 3.8, it offers a stable blue color that stands out from other natural blues. This creates a color-changing effect while maintaining stability.

As long as the pH is stable, the color is stable.

purple bottles

Adding butterfly pea flower extract to the toolbox allows developers to achieve blue, green, purple, and brown hues in high water activity systems or those that are exposed to heat, or both. Blends using butterfly pea flower extract also add even more cost-effective purple options to a beverage developer’s lineup.

We have seen excellent heat stability using butterfly pea flower extract regardless of acidity. Similarly, we have seen minimal impact to stability in the presence of ascorbic acid, making butterfly pea flower extract a great choice for a wide range of beverage applications.

Bottled & Canned
RTD Beverages

Some applications where butterfly pea flower extract can provide standout purple hues include flavored waters, sports drinks, energy drinks, and carbonated soft drinks.

purple beverages

Beverage Syrups

The unique stability of butterfly pea flower extract at different acidity levels helps when it’s used in beverage syrups for at-home or QSR use, because that syrup could be added to a low pH lemonade-based refresher or a high-pH dairy-based coffee drink or milkshake.

purple beverage syrups

Alcoholic Beverages

Butterfly pea flower extract is even stable under the harsh conditions of alcohol and already has TTB approval. Alcoholic beverages can really capitalize on the color-changing effect as a high-pH and high-proof alcohol is mixed or layered with other ingredients common in cocktails, such as lemon juice, which provides an exciting experience for consumers.

purple alcoholic beverages
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