Dilutable drinks or syrups contain all ingredients in a concentrated format until the point of consumption when they are mixed with water, milk or other liquid. Ingredient interactions are an important consideration when applying Coloring Foods into syrups especially no added sugar (NAS) recipes where the concentration has increased from 1+4 dilution to 1+10 or more for water enhancers.


  • Use a starting color dosage level between 0.20% w/w – 1.50% w/w taking into account the inherent color of the base drink itself
  • For best results, beverage pH should be <3.5 for red, purple, and pink colors
  • Consider ascorbic acid and mineral levels when formulating with anthocyanin-based colors. Whilst any juice content may benefit from the use of an antioxidant, the color 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
  • Brix and sugar content can have a protective effect on color in concentrated syrups

Manufacturing process

  • 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 may vary
  • Measures should be taken to reduce in-pack oxygen as far as possible
  • Rapid cooling helps preserve color


  • Optimal color performance is up to 12 months in unopened bottles
  • Color addition can smooth out changes and improve shelf life by enhancing the appearance for a longer period
  • Glass or canned packaging extends shelf life