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Flavours & Ingredients 15.12.2022

New possibilities for blue beverages

GNT has secured U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the use of spirulina extract in beverages, enabling manufacturers to achieve vibrant blue shades while maintaining clean labels.

New possibilities for blue beverages
Consumer interest in spirulina has increased exponentially over the past decade. (Photo: GNT)

GNT gains regulatory approval for spirulina extract

GNT has secured U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the use of spirulina extract in beverages, enabling manufacturers to achieve vibrant blue shades while maintaining clean labels.

GNT, which supplies plant-based EXBERRY® colour concentrates, has developed a patented formulation technology that allows spirulina extract to remain temperature- and acid-stabilised in beverages.

The EXBERRY® Blue Beverage Solution is suitable for use in a wide range of applications including sports, energy, and carbonated drinks, juice drinks, enhanced waters, and alcoholic beverages below 20 % ABV.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) had previously only permitted the use of spirulina extract as a natural blue colouring ingredient in certain food products and powdered beverages. However, GNT has now successfully petitioned the FDA to amend the regulation to cover all non-alcoholic beverages as well as alcoholic beverages below 20 % ABV. The update came into effect on December 13, 2022.

This means the EXBERRY® Blue Beverage Solution can be used as a clean-label replacement for Blue 1 in the vast majority of drink applications. It delivers a bright turquoise blue shade in acidified beverages with a pH range between 2.6 to 3.4 and can be combined with other EXBERRY® concentrates to deliver hues including navy blue, violet, and green.

Consumer interest in spirulina has increased exponentially over the past decade in step with the FDA’s approval of natural blue colors derived from spirulina extract for products including yogurt, ice cream, and confectionery.

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