Naturally Colored Gelatin

As consumer demand for naturally colored foods continues to gain traction, desserts like Gelatin are included in the products that Millennial moms expect to be converted from synthetic colors. In the past, developers didn’t have access to a full rainbow of Natural Color solutions for Gelatin due to the inability to match synthetic colors and create ‘cloud free’ orange and yellow shades.

Until recently, a natural source of blue was difficult to find. Now that Sentient’s Gardenia Blue and Spirulina are available, attaining brilliant Blue, Green and Purple shades naturally is possible.

Beta Carotene (natural source of orange) and Turmeric (natural source of yellow) are both water insoluble. Because they must be water soluble in dry gelatin mixes, an additional emulsification step is required. The emulsifiers typically used to convert these natural sources to water soluble tend to produce some ‘cloud’. Obviously, a “cloudy” gelatin is less likely to be accepted by consumers.

A great deal of progress has been made in achieving formulations that overcome both of these challenges. And while the options available today are not all exact matches for synthetic colors, they are very close and provide excellent choices for brands ready to make the switch.


Lemon yellow can be achieved by utilizing Sensient’s new proprietary solution for processing Turmeric, which does not produce ‘cloud’.
A combination of the new technology for Turmeric, with water soluble vegetable juice will produce a nice mandarin orange shade.
A close match to Red #40 can be achieved with an Anthocyanin or Beet vegetable juice.
Sensient’s Gardenia Blue at a pH above 3.8 will yield a good replacement for Blue #2.
Employing Spirulina will create a close match to Blue #1, but could degrade due to pH and heat instability. If heated too much or if the pH falls below 4, the shade could fade or precipitation might occur, causing speckling.
Lime green can be achieved with a combination of either of the above blue options and Sensient’s proprietary Turmeric. The shade intensity depends on the source of blue.
Anthocyanin sources such as Black Carrot and Purple Sweet Potato or Sensient’s Gardenia Blue at a pH below 3.8 will produce a beautiful violet shade.


Clear colors for the entire spectrum can be achieved in ready-to-eat Gelatin; however, stability issues relating to shelf life require additional testing. Stay tuned for related blog posts as our testing is finalized.

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