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The global food color market comprises of synthetic, natural, natural-identical and caramel. Synthetic food colors are prepared using varieties of raw material such as sugar, starch, corn syrup, sodium benzoate, red 3, yellow 5, yellow 6 and blue 1 which are reacted and result in the formation of molecules from which a particular food color can be derived. Natural food colors are produced using raw materials which are extracted from vegetables or other naturally grown sources and which are physically reacted with water without any usage of chemical additives. In 2008, synthetic food color occupied the largest market share at 42% followed by natural food color market which occupied 27% of the total market.

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Food colorants are ingredients primarily used to provide the desired shade to any food or beverage in order to render it visually more appealing. Food colorants are used not only in frozen, RTE (Ready to Eat) or processed foods, however also find numerous applications in carbonated drinks, alcoholic beverages as well as juices, sauces and so on.

The global natural food colorants market is dominated by Beta carotene which is also the fastest growing natural color growing at a rate of close to 4.3% for the next five years. Beta carotene is also the most widely used carotenoid and a vital source for Vitamin A. Owing to its capacity to act as a colorant as well as a nutraceutical ingredient, beta carotene is expected to be the most promising product in the natural colors market in the near future. However, the only factor preventing this market from being highly attractive is the competition.

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Being part of the processed food business, colorants and pigments are heavily regulated by FDA in the U.S. and REACH in the EU in terms of product applications, specifications and certifications. Although the demand for food colorants in dominated by Europe, Asia Pacific is expected to be the most promising market in the near future. In 2018, it is expected that the total usage of food colors will increase up to xxxx tons. The usage of food colors by European countries will drastically reduce due to increasing regulatory intervention as a ban on synthetic food colors is under evaluation.