red 40Food and beverage manufacturers have a long tradition for using Red 40 (or Allura Red), a synthetic food color, to ensure the visual appeal for their finished products. Currently the food industry is experiencing hefty price increases for Red 40, mostly due to a cost increase for p-cresidine sulfonic acid, a synthetic chemical which is used in the manufacture of Red 40.  Consequently the industry is looking for replacement opportunities.

An opportunity to go natural 
“Our best advice to food manufacturers, who are concerned about the price fluctuations for Red 40, is to use this as an opportunity to switch to a naturally derived alternative, namely our Ultra Stable Red™. Ultra Stable Red™ is our range of beautifully bright and intense, vegetable-based colors which demonstrate outstanding performance and stability,” says Byron Madkins, Americas Director of Business Development, Chr. Hansen.

“Not only do the Ultra Stable Red™ products offer a close shade match to Red 40, they are also 20-40% more stable than other natural red shades based on popular anthocyanin sources such as grape skin and black carrot. And with the cost increase for p-cresidine sulfonic acid which is driving up prices for Red 40, now is an opportune time to switch to a stable, cost-effective natural alternative,” Byron Madkins recommends.

The Ultra Stable Red™ solutions are based on unique, vegetable-based anthocyanin sources. The products are available in liquid and powder forms. The range was originally developed for beverage applications but Chr. Hansen’s R&D and Applications Teams globally have worked to further optimize the formulations in the range, allowing for them to be suitable for most low pH products and applications, including confectionary, dairy and fruit preparations, and prepared foods.

A global consumer trend 
Chr. Hansen’s Peter Thorninger, VP, Natural Colors Commercial Development elaborates: “We know from market research that the vast majority of consumers prefer natural colorants in their food products. Globally we have observed this trend for years, and now we see a growing number of food manufacturers in the US buying into the trend as well. At Chr. Hansen we are devoted to developing the best natural color solutions, which is the primary reason why we have recently built a new anthocyanin plant where we process and formulate our Ultra Stable Red™ solutions. With Red 40 being so costly at the moment, we have the best natural red solution and are ready to help our customers switch.”


 Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2012/13 financial year was EUR 738 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.