LycoRed has developed a unique, tomato lycopene formulation tailored specifically for use as natural colorant in surimi applications. This enables food manufacturers to use a natural and vegetarian colorant in compliance with the trend toward avoiding artificial colorants.
Surimi is a very popular food product in Asian countries as well as the U.S. About 2 to 3 percent—or 3 million tons—of the global fisheries supply is used for production of surimi and surimi-based products. Surimi is available in many shapes, forms and textures. Its texture and color are often identical to the meat of lobster crab or other shellfish. The most common surimi product in the Western market is a crab-meat analogue. In North America, surimi is often called imitation crab or mock crab. In many other countries around the world it is typically referred to as seafood sticks, crab sticks, fish sticks or seafood extender.
While the common red colorant used in the production of surimi is carmine—extracted from cochineal insects, consumer aversion and growing concern over possible allergies, has made carmine a far less desirable colorant to processors. Recognizing a gap in the market for a safe, natural solution for surimi’s unique, vivid red color, LycoRed developed innovative tomato lycopene formulations that maintain perfect stability during the surimi production process as well as through the entire product shelf life.
“LycoRed specializes in providing innovative solutions for our customers’ needs,” says Roee Nir, Color andFlavor Global Commercial Managerfor LycoRed. “Surimi manufacturers have been trying to replace the carmine with another color source for a long time. Our tomato lycopene colorant allows food and beverage manufacturers to achieve the precise color shade they want without compromising flavor or stability, or experiencing migration and color changes other natural colorants tend to have.”
Carmine is often blended with paprika to achieve the correct shade for the local surimi market. LycoRed’s Tomato lycopene formulations are freely blendable with other colors such as paprika to allow manufactures to retain this flexibility.
According to Innova Market Insights, the use of the word “natural” is particularly evident in the US and UK markets, where numerous products have been formulated adopting this positioning. A major trend away from artificial colors has been reported on the UK market in the last two years, where the high profile “Southampton Six” study has led to strong reformulation activity away from the azo-dye colors linked to hyperactivity in children.
LycoRed is an innovative, science-based company creating breakthrough healthy nutraceutical ingredients for the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries. With a large complement of multinational customers across the global supply chain, LycoRed eagerly serves each client with attentiveness, quick response and maximum flexibility.