Interviews & Profiles - Interviews

Coloring Food With Food

May 2021

Interviews & Profiles - Interviews

Coloring Food With Food

May 2021

GNT’s Sales Director for the Middle East, Santhosh Thankappan, explains why EXBERRY® Coloring Foods offer the ultimate in clean-label colors

What are EXBERRY® Coloring Foods?

Coloring Foods are colors for food and beverage products that are derived exclusively from fruit, vegetables and plants such as carrots, blueberries and spirulina. The raw materials are processed into coloring concentrates using physical methods such as pressing, chopping, filtering and concentrating. In fact, EXBERRY® colors are considered foods in their own right, to the extent that they can be consumed safely at any point during the production process.

What is the history behind GNT?

GNT was founded in 1978 by Dr. Horst Hoeck, a 33-year-old German engineer. He had noticed that color-intensive foods like beetroot were being used by home cooks to impart color to other foods. His vision was to make this household process achievable on an industrial scale in order to offer it to food and beverage companies as a natural alternative to synthetic colorants. GNT has now been producing EXBERRY® Coloring Foods for more than 40 years, supplying our products to companies all over the world. In 2014, the second generation of the Hoeck family, took over the reins at GNT.

Why switch to EXBERRY® Coloring Foods?

Research over a long period of time has shown that significant numbers of consumers have an aversion to artificial colors. However, even some of the so-called ‘natural’ additive colors with “E” number fall short of expectations for clean and clear labels. Many are extracted using chemical processes and auxiliary agents, while some are made from insects. Coloring Foods, on the other hand, are based on the principle of coloring food with food and are produced from plant-based materials with no chemical solvents. EXBERRY® Coloring Foods can be listed on product labels in a way that is easy for consumers to understand, such as ‘concentrate of (carrot and blackcurrant)’. While consumer expectations are evolving all the time, we see EXBERRY® colors as a future-proof solution.

Where do you get the fruit, vegetables and plants for EXBERRY® Coloring Foods?

We have a vertically integrated supply chain, that means we control the entire supply chain from seed till the end product.  We were able to establish strong relationships built on a foundation of mutual trust with our framers who have been working with us for long periods, some for decades. Our supply chain ensures we always have traceable and authentic products.

How can you guarantee the quality of the raw materials used to make EXBERRY®?

From developing the best seeds to identifying the ideal growing conditions, we have spent years working with our farmers to perfect our processes. This means our farmers consistently grow fruit, vegetables and plants with the greatest color intensity possible. We also conduct regular quality checks to ensure the raw materials always meet our high standards.

Does GNT use genetically modified raw materials to make EXBERRY®?

GNT is committed to not using any genetically modified raw materials. We conduct regular, full-coverage screening tests to ensure that our products are GMO-free. We also have a range of EXBERRY® Organics products that are all certified organic and meet the requirements of the EU organic regulations.

Does the reliance on natural raw materials cause any supply issues?

As a family-owned company, though, we go the extra mile to ensure we never let our customers down. As such, we have made a strong financial commitment to hold significant inventory of both raw materials equaling to 18 months in different locations. We also pride ourselves on offering stable pricing, thanks to our vertical integration and stock keeping policy.

How can manufacturers make the switch to EXBERRY® Coloring Foods?

As a pioneer in Coloring Foods, with more than 40 years of experience, our application experts are able to support our customers throughout the entire product development process. They also provide support when customers are switching from other colorants to Coloring Foods, and can offer advice in matters relating to stability and regulation of colors in food and beverage products.

Are EXBERRY® Coloring Foods easy to use?

When using Coloring Foods, there are certain technical considerations that must be taken into account depending on the shade and the application. Factors such as heat and light stability, pH, fat levels and oxidation mean that Coloring Foods will sometimes behave differently to additive colorants in certain products. Our application experts are on hand to help our customers navigate these differences with the minimum of fuss.