Cochineal Carmine is widely used in the food industry for its red-pinkish colorant. Due to its stability to heat and light and the variety of color tones that it provides, it is known to be one of the most used natural dyes in the industry.
Although, worldwide, it is commonly used in meats for sausages, cold meats and hams, in the US market, it is the bakery and confectionery industries that demand a higher usage of this colorant. And it is no surprise, since the confectionery industry alone manages a 36 billion dollar market, according to the USA Government Industry Affairs. For his part, the bakery handled a 58 billion dollar industry in the year 2017, however, in scones and cakes, the percentage of carmine use is not as high as the one in candies, chewing gums, jelly beans, and other sweets.
According to the same study, the most popular sweet is chocolate, with a 72%, followed by chewing candy and hard candy, with 65% and 57%, respectively. Gum and mints follow up with 34% each, never the less, it is in second and third category where carmine kicks in the most. Regular hard colored candy can contain up to 5 different colorants, including synthetic ones, like Red 40, and natural ones, like annatto and carmine.
Every day, the food industry is opting for natural substitutes of synthetic dyes due to the emerging healthy lifestyle. Natural colorants are at the height of their life curve, although some studies suggest this trends will keep on growing for the next decade, as Grand View Research showed on a carmine market analysis in 2018.
What is certain, is that carmine is a natural product growing fast every day in the food industry as a replacement for synthetic dyes, as it has a strong stability and natural attributes that today’s consumers look for.
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