Natural colour glace cherries are triggering a growing demand, due to the increasing concern on healthy nutrition in many countries.
Colour dye is a key feature of food that may enhance its attractiveness and thus, achieve a huge impact in purchasing decisions. But more and more sectors of society demand natural and healthy food, with less artificial colours and, broadly speaking, an additives free label.
With regard to natural colour glace cherries, the attractiveness remains intact. They are perfect for all types of sweet preparations and cocktails without any difference with the other ones.
The importance of natural additives for consumers has been revealed in a recent poll. According to the Nielsen survey on Global Health and Perception of Food Ingredients (fisrt quarter of 2016), 62 per cent of consumers say that they attempt to avoid artificial food colours when possible. It is remarkable that people from emergent countries in the South East of Asia and the Pacific are even more reluctant to artificial food colours than consumers in Europe and North America.
In the last few years we can appreciate a shift in consumer habits, as people tend to prefer natural food colors on a more regular basis. Obviously, food industry accomodates this trend as quickly as it can… That would be the case of natural colour glace cherries and other preserved fruit specialties we make in Lazaya’s facilities in Aragon (Spain).
Natural colour glace cherries: which is the most common pigment?
Most of the natural colours used to get red colour in the food industry are pigments obtained from vegetables. Another food colouring widely used is E120, extracted from cochineal (an insect called Dactylopius Coccus). It is also a natural colour with an animal origin, in this case. For that reason, cochineal carmine has been a subject of controversy for years. Reasons have to do with Halal and Kosher restrictions, as well as vegan diet.
In general, we can advance a decrease in the use of this natural food colour in the coming years. There are basically two reasons. On the one hand, the sharp volatility in prices in the last few years due to its tight link to weather conditions and also the scarcity of production areas in the world. On the other hand, new technologies in food industry (e.g. encapsulation) will tend to reduce the use of this colouring.
Natural colour glace cherries advantages and dissadvantages
Natural colour glace cherries have the comparative advantage of having a nearly full additives free label, as concerns about healthy nutrition are notably spreading over population in many countries as well as religious observances affecting dietary intakes (mainly, Halal and Kosher).
However, one can also find many dissadvantages to using natural colour candied cherries… The main one is related to a much more limited expiration date, as the natural food colourings speed up food spoilage when hit by direct light. This is the case of those packaged in glass bottles and plastic containers.
Another pitfall of natural colour glace cherries that may be considered is that dyes may vary depending on the different crop cycles or the world areas the vegetal extracts come from. As on many such ocasions, colour dyes may vary depending on the batch…
Luckily, standardizations processes have improved a lot over the last few years, and new technologies and testing can enssure the pigments purity and the commitment to all the food security regulations, as well as an ever greater colour homogenization.
It has long been said that natural food colours can only achieve dull colours and less vibrant shades. In our view, it should not be that way when the correct natural colorings are regularly used.
With regard to the intrusive taste that natural colours may provide to some foods, new technologies of filtration and purification have already solved the problem.
Lazaya’s quality glace cherries
Lazaya’s glace cherries are made of the best fruits, more specifically a kind or cherry varieties that are red on the outside and white in the inside. It is easier to colour these ones than the darker varieties. The same holds true for the natural colour glace cherries Lazaya make: their colours are intensely vivid and their flavour remains unchanged. Furthermore, we make sure that our colourings suppliers have the same commitment to quality than ourselves. In Lazaya, the quality control of preserved fruit is strict and a cornerstone of our corporate values.