The influence of food colors
Who has never heard of the expression “to ogle”? This expression reflects much more information than we can imagine. The appearance of a product may seduce consumers and lead to their approval or rejection. Coloring is the main sensory quality used in the evaluation of a product; in fact, out of all sensitive organs, human beings capture around 87% of their perceptions by sight. Consequently, the food industry seeks to associate color with flavor, texture and product quality.
Colors are substances intentionally added to food products for the purpose of imparting color. The food industry uses coloring to compensate for color loss due to the effect from light, air, temperature, humidity and storage conditions. In addition, colorings intensify the colors present in processed foods, impart identity and protect flavors and vitamins from damage caused by light.
There are three categories of colorings for use in food products; namely: artificial colors, colors that are identical to natural ones and natural colors.
A strong trend today is the search by consumers for more natural products, with a “healthiness” and clean label appeal. In this context, natural colors represent an excellent alternative for the food industry.
For example, data from a survey conducted by Mintel with 1,500 respondents over 16 years of age revealed that 29% of Brazilian consumers agree that they would like to see more bread and baked products with natural ingredients that add color.
Natural colors can help consumers associate color with nutrition and more natural and healthy products, in addition to creating visual sensory attributes.