Juice Drinks & Smoothies
Juice drinks containing fruit and / or vegetable juices and purées often benefit from the addition of coloring ingredients as they have a tendency to brown over life. Adding Coloring Foods to juice drinks and smoothie style products enhances the shade and delivers a consistent appetizing appearance for the duration of the shelf life.
- Use a starting color dosage level between 0.05% w/w – 0.50% w/w taking into account the base color of the drink itself
- For optimal appearance and color performance, beverage pH should be <3.5 for red, purple, and pink shades
- Consider ascorbic acid and mineral levels when formulating with anthocyanin-based colors. Whilst the juices themselves may benefit from the use of an antioxidant, the red colors may perform better if levels are kept to a minimum
- For carotenoid-containing colors it is recommended to include ascorbic acid (as an antioxidant to support performance) in addition to some form of stabilizer to maintain the homogenous appearance
- Note the order of ingredient addition and add colors during the final stages of production
- Avoid excessive processing or prolonged heat treatment
- Homogenization is advisable in certain instances to provide stability where particle sizes of juices / purées vary
- Measures should be taken to reduce in-pack oxygen as far as possible
- Rapid cooling helps preserve color
- Optimal color performance for ambient juice drinks is 6 – 12 months. Smoothies on the other hand are typically chilled with a shelf-life up to 2 months.
- Color addition can smooth out changes over time and improve shelf life by enhancing the appearance for a longer period
- UV barriers and full-shrink labels will preserve color vibrancy and can help extend shelf life
- Packaging material can impact on color performance over time