Natural Innovation for Oil-Based Applications in Sweet Goods

At the beginning of the year, we shared Dunkin’ Brands’ news about their conversion to natural colors in all of their donuts. While the switch was surprising for some, it’s starting to become the norm for many new products introduced into the market. In North America, 78% of food and beverage products launched in 2017 used natural food colors, indicating brands, including sweet good manufacturers, are responding to consumers’ desire for cleaner ingredients.

Natural color conversions in the food industry are proving to be beneficial for brands who are able to deliver on consumers’ visual expectation. Sensient consumer research concludes the use of brighter color leads to increased purchase intent scores, mainly because vibrancy signals more flavor. This notion rings especially true for food products associated with celebratory occasions, including:


For oil-based systems such as these, lake dispersions are the traditional go-to option with synthetic colors. Since natural lakes do not exist, formulating can be difficult, especially overcoming undesirable specking effects from water-soluble natural colors.

While increasing usage rates might seem appropriate to mitigate this challenge, it can increase cost-in-use and potentially create other issues with off-notes and texture.

So what do you do?


For the applications listed above, the ideal solution is a natural oil-based Microfine™ dispersion. The Microfine™ dispersions increase overall color productivity and accuracy by preventing clumping while fully incorporating the natural food color. The best part is Microfine™ dispersions are available in just about every shade of the rainbow—your innovation can be endless with any color at your disposal.

If you have any questions or projects for which you need guidance on plating-grade natural food colors, I am more than happy to talk you through it.

You can set up a consultation here or request Microfine™ samples to trial.

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