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LycoRed gets green light for tomato colourant

Israeli carotenoid supplier LycoRed has received US Food & Drug Administration approval to market its natural tomato extract, Tomat-O-Red, as a food colourant in the US.

The ingredient with clinically backed antioxidant benefits is available in liquid and powder form and in varying shades of red. It has been shown to maintain stability under extreme temperatures and changes in food matrix acidity and LycoRed said Tomat-O-Red "can colour a variety of food and beverage products, including dairy and confectionery products, as well as baked goods."

"This FDA approval is important for us since it opens an additional marketing channel in the US, and creates new business opportunities," LycoRed chief executive officer Morris Zelkhas said. "We anticipate significant share in the red food colourant market and are beginning an aggressive marketing campaign to promote Tomat-O-Red."

It is estimated the worldwide natural colouring market is worth about $250 million with red colours valued at about $40 million. The synthetic colours market is valued at $750 million but natural colours are gaining an increasing share of the colourant pie.

Tomat-O-Red, derived from specially bred, lycopene-rich, non-GM tomatoes, is classified as colour 160d under food additives legislation in Europe and has been approved as a colourant in Japan for several years.

LycoRed recently acquired Buckton Scott Nutrition and unveiled a new corporate logo and website to reflect its position as a carotenoid and functional ingredients supplier rather than solely a lycopene specialist.

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