Meeting Demand for Ingredient Transparency
An Active Value Chain
Recently, we announced our newest addition to the Sensient Colors family—Mazza Innovation, a pioneer in clean extraction technology for botanicals. This step is a major progression in our ‘seed-to-shelf’ strategy, as it enhances our innovation across the entire natural color and coloring food value chain.
You may have read about some of our agronomy initiatives in this past year’s blog updates, including the addition of annatto and carmine extraction capabilities at Sensient Peru. Our agronomy technology enables Sensient to contribute significantly to both long term cost-in-use improvement and performance through pigment maximization in the botanical color source. While our agronomy program addresses cost and performance challenges with colors from natural sources, Mazza Innovation will further our advances in meeting demands for the purest process engineering techniques.
Consumer Demand for Total Transparency
The artificial versus natural ingredient debate is by no means new anymore. While a significant portion of the population are comfortable with synthetic ingredients like color because of their longstanding history of safe usage, recent product launches from food manufacturers are responding to consumer segments seeking natural offerings. In 2017, over 80% of global food and beverage launches used either natural colors or coloring foods. This percentage grows every year across all regions of the world. The natural trend has also taken hold in the skin and hair care, cosmetic, nutraceutical, and household cleaning markets as well. Manufacturers who are able to nimbly keep up with consumer desire for natural are winning.
But—the scrutiny of ingredients in food products isn’t over! The preferences of today’s information hungry consumers are actually evolving. In the future, I suspect natural claims alone will not be enough, based on some of the recent claims hitting retail store shelves in Europe and The United States:
“No Processing Agent”
“No Chemical Processing”
“Processing is kept to a minimum”
These particular claims are certainly not the norm. However, according to Mintel, a decided majority of U.S. consumers believe processed foods have too many ‘unnecessary’ ingredients, and they want more transparency overall.
Green Extraction Capabilities Enable Greater Purity of Ingredients
These evolving attitudes favoring the purity of ingredients are why we are so excited about the addition of Mazza’s technology. It represents a major change for Sensient and consumer product companies. Traditionally, chemical solvent extraction methods are used in the processing of color from natural sources for optimal shade performance. However, Mazza’s innovative and uber clean extraction process can unbind and extract the targeted pigment compounds that conventional chemical and organic solvents uncover through pressurized water at elevated temperatures.
This method is not only cleaner but more efficient than supercritical CO2. It also approaches the same performance level as traditional chemical solvent extraction methods but only through the use of water and “green” solvents.
This technology will enable us to provide ultra-clean ingredients that do not sacrifice on performance, because at the end of the day, sensory performance is still the most important factor for consumer products, whether taste or appearance. Initially, you may see us introduce new certified and functional plant extracts for the nutraceutical and skincare markets. Longer term, Sensient’s R&D will leverage Mazza’s technology to solve some of the major technical challenges faced in meeting consumer desire for only the purest ingredients.