DENMARK – Global bioscience company, Chr. Hansen has unveiled the Hansen sweet potato™, a natural red color alternative to carmine and synthetic reds to satisfy discerning consumers.

The new vegetable variety from Ipomoea batatas was developed using traditional breeding methods to create the long-sought after vibrant, natural red color for use in food and beverage applications.

“For the first time, we’ve created a whole new variety of vegetable to create the natural color our customers are asking for,” said Jakob Dalmose Rasmussen, vice president, Commercial Development at Chr. Hansen Natural Colors.

“We call it the Hansen sweet potato™.

Over 10 years ago, we discovered a promising pigment in a root vegetable’s tuber, but the plant’s pigment content was on the low side.

We took this plant and embarked on a process of selective breeding using traditional, non-GMO methods.

The result is a plant-based, brilliant red that gives our customers a natural alternative to carmine and synthetic colors.”

Hansen sweet potato™ is part of Chr. Hansen’s FruitMax® line of bright-red solutions launched to address challenges posed by use of previously available natural red colors.

For instance, while using strawberry in cakes, confectionery or in milkshakes, there is the challenge control off-taste by use of carmine or other synthetic colors.

Development of the new product was driven by the rising need for natural products and lean towards vegetarian and vegan food choices.

According to the company, the new FruitMax® red juice concentrates are 100% plant based and provide a new solution to our customers looking to respond to this consumer trend.

Chr. Hansen’s new FruitMax™ Orange and recently launched FruitMax® reds are based on Hansen sweet potato™ blends, are minimally processed and meet the EU requirements for Coloring Foodstuffs.

FruitMax finds application in several food products such as cakes, confectionery, milkshakes, thus able to meet both consumer needs and market requirements for natural ingredients and clean labels.