Chr. Hansen Awarded Patent on Purification Process of Natural Color

Milwaukee, WI – The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Chr. Hansen for the "Purification process for improving total yield of curcuminoid coloring agent" under the patent number 6,942,881. Issued in late 2005, the patent pertains to a production process that improves the total yield of curcuminoids from turmeric and other curcuminoid-containing materials by 30-40 percent.

Curcumin is the primary pigment in the spice turmeric, and is typically used as a food color in dairy products, beverages, cereal, confectionary, ice cream, bakery, and savory products. In dairy, turmeric is mostly used in cultured milk, flavored milk drinks, and desserts to obtain lemon and banana colors. True to its original usage as a spice, turmeric is added at higher levels to sausages, pickles, relishes, sauces, dry mixes, and fish.

Well-documented studies have found the health benefits of curcumin include anti-inflammatory activity, cancer prevention, antimicrobial properties, and heart health including the lowering of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Turmeric, mainly grown in Southeast Asia, has been used for centuries as a treatment for wounds and injuries in the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.

"With the growing consumer demand for more healthy foods and beverages, this patent is another illustration of Chr. Hansen's commitment to providing the food industry with natural ingredient solutions," states David R. Carpenter, President and CEO for Chr. Hansen in North America. He points out that it is another enhancement to the company's advanced production technology.

The newly issued patent is the latest in a number of patents Chr. Hansen owns on natural colors, as well as on starter cultures and lactic acid bacteria, enzymes, wine cultures, and other ingredients.

Operating from facilities in thirty countries worldwide, Chr. Hansen is a global biotechnology company that provides ingredients to the food, dairy, human health and nutrition, and animal health industries. Based on intensive research, Chr. Hansen works to improve the quality of food and health for people all over the world. The company is a primary supplier of cultures, probiotics, enzymes, colors, flavors, seasonings, sweeteners, and tablet coatings and excipients, which are applied in foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and agricultural products. For more information, visit

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