Natural Food Color Additives

This is only a partial list. For further details contact  

Ingredients found from Phytone who is a is a major manufacturer of natural colours and other naturally derived ingredients for the food industry located in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK. and from

Anthcyannins E163 - are the mainly red pigments that are responsible for the colors of many edible fruits and berries. They also contribute to the colors of some vegetables and flowers. Together with carotenoids, they provide us with the attractive autumnal colors. The majority of anthocyanins provide red and purple shades. They are normally extracted from the raw material using alcohol or acidified water. Anthocyanin pigments are glycosides of anthocyanidins. They are water soluble and convenient to use. Stability to heat and light is generally good, especially if the more polymeric anthocyanins, such as those derived from grape skins are selected. pH change affects their shade and stability and in general they are used in products whose pH is below 4.5. They are particularly recommended for the coloring of soft drinks, jams, most types of sugar confectionery and other acidic products such as fruit toppings and sauces.

Beetroot Red E162 - is obtained by the aqueous extraction of red table beet (Beta vulgaris). It consists of two principle pigments, betanin and vulgaxanthin. Freely soluble in water, it provides an intense red color that is convenient to use. It has limited stability to heat, light and sulphur dioxide and its shelf-life in finished products may be partially determined by the water activity of the system in which it is used. Using liquid or powder preparations a wide range of products can be colored with this material. Short shelf-life, low moisture or frozen products such as flavored milks, yogurts, dry dessert mixes and ice creams may all benefit from the use of this intense, bright red colorant.

Paprika E160c - is obtained from sweet red peppers (Capsicum annuum) using a solvent extraction process to prepare an oleoresin. Paprika is well recognized as a spice and it is a popular ingredient of many recipe dishes. The extract contains principally two carotenoid pigments, capsanthin and capsorubin. Both pigments are oil soluble and provide a rich orange/red hue depending upon the concentration used. When used for coloring purposes, paprika extracts invariably contribute a spicy flavor and they are generally more suited to either savoury or lightly colored products. Although sensitive to oxidation these pigments are stable to heat and are unaffected by changes of pH.

Annatto E160b - is from the seeds of the annatto bush (Bixa orellana) have long been recognized and used in some cultures to provide both color and flavor to the diet. Annatto seeds give two pigments:

Both pigments are carotenoids and may therefore be adversely affected by light and oxygen. In extreme cases it is helpful to protect pigments using ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Norbixin is sensitive to sulphur dioxide at levels in excess of 100 ppm, whereas hard water or low pH conditions can lead to pigment precipitation. Norbixin is heat stable and provides an orange hue. It is frequently offered as a blend with other pigments, especially curcumin, to ensure that precise yellow/orange shades are achieved. Traditionally the main use of norbixin has been in cheese coloration, but it is used in a much wider variety of applications including breadcrumbs, flour confectionery, dairy products and ice cream.

Curcumin E100 - is the principle pigment of turmeric, a spice that is obtained from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa. As the spice turmeric, curcumin has been a component of the diet for many years. Obtained by extraction from the plant to produce an oleoresin which is then purified, curcumin provides a bright, strong yellow shade in solution. It is an oil soluble pigment that is available in convenient water dispersible forms that are used in a wide range of foods. Curcumin is extremely heat stable and may generally be used in products throughout the acid pH range. It is sensitive to sulphur dioxide at levels in excess of 100 ppm and shows poor stability when exposed to light. It may be used in a variety of applications including ice creams, sorbets, dairy products, dry mixes and some types of sugar confectionery products.

Lutein E161b - is the yellow xanthophyll (Tagetes erecta) found in all green leaves and is responsible for the attractive yellow orange color of marigold flowers. It is nutritionally important and is found in human blood and tissues, including the region of the retina known as the macula lutea. Here it acts as an antioxidant and absorbs high-energy blue light thus protecting the sensitive rods and cones. Although lutein is oil soluble it is also available in specially formulated water dispersible forms and thus finds application in a wide range of food and drinks. It is also important in the poultry industry where its inclusion in the feed can enhance skin color and the depth and shade of the egg yolk. In common with other carotenoids, it is stable to heat and acid but is susceptible to oxidation. The addition of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and tocopherols can overcome this problem.

Chlororophyll E140 - is the green pigment that is found in all plants that are capable of photosynthesis and it has thus always been a component of the diet. The pigment is obtained by solvent extraction from three main sources, grass, alfalfa and nettles. It is an oil soluble pigment that provides an olive green shade of color.

Copper Chlorophyllin E141 - is obtained by the coppering of chlorophyll following its alkaline hydrolysis. The improved stability and brightness of copper chlorophyllin leads to its much wider use than chlorophyll as a food color.

Available in both liquid and powder preparations, copper chlorophyllin produces a blue green shade when dissolved in water and is frequently blended with curcumin to provide lime green tints. Its stability to heat and light is good but precipitation can occur if it is used in acidified systems. Chlorophyll and copper chlorophyllin products are especially useful in sugar confectionery, dairy products, sauces, pickles, jams and dry mixes.

More Natural Food Colorings can be found below  from Unicorn Natural Products (P) Ltd.

 Natural Colors (Specifications)

 Botanical Name

Common Name

Types of Color

Parts Used

 Acacia Catechu


 Brown Colour 


 Bixa Orellana 


 Orange Yellow Colour 


 Butea Monosperma 

 Flame of the forest

 Yellow Orange Colour 


 Carthamus Tinctorius 


 Red & Yellow Colour 


 Crocus Sativus 


 Yellow Colour 


 Curcuma Longa 


 Yellow Colour 


 Hibiscus Sabdariffa 


 Bright Red Colour 


 Indigofera Tinctoria 

 Natural indigo

 Blue Colour 


 Lawsonia Inermis


 Orange Colour 


 Mallotus Phillippensis

 Kamala Tree

 Red Colour 


 Punica Granatum


 Yellow Red 


 Rubia Cordifolia

 Indian Madder

 Orange Colour 

 Root & Stem

 Tagetes Erecta 


 Yellow Colour 


 Terminalia Arjuna


 Red Color 


 Terminalia Ballerica

 Balleric Myrobalam

 Yellow Brown 


 Wrightia Tinctoria

 Pala Indigo Plant

 Blue Colour 



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