12 February 2015

Natural colours for food production

Natural colours are increasingly replacing artificial colours in foods globally. There is large unexploited economic potential in improving the crops used as raw materials in colour production

Development of crop varieties with high concentration of pigments can facilitate increased exports of natural food colourings and environmentally friendly Danish commodity production.

Natural anthocyanins and carotenes that can be extracted from colourful fruits, berries and vegetables are among the most used colours in food products. They have a market value of EUR 200M and 350M in the global market respectively.

The aim is to increase the pigment formation in selected crops and make them efficient and environmentally friendly 'natural colour factories'.

Measurement techniques for pigment in plant material

Quick colour analysis methods allow detection of individual plants and varieties that have significantly increased levels of pigment.

Development of rapid plant pigment analysis supports the development of crops with high pigment concentration by increasing the analytical capacity significantly, thereby improving the selection of the most productive plants.

Spectroscopic techniques combined with multivariate data analysis are known for high capacity, rapid analysis and high sensitivity in a wide variety of chemical substances. Precise analysis with large capacity is crucial for the development of varieties with high and different pigment content.

Simultaneously with the optimisation of pigment, resistance to pests and climate adaptation for growing in Denmark will be incorporated in the new crop varieties.

Prediction of carotenoids through spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis.

Original title: Udvikling af planter til produktion af naturlige farver til fødevarer

Start date: October 2013

End date: September 2017

FOOD grant: DKK 1,624,600

Total budget: DKK 16,469,900