Category Archives: Insights

The Importance of Food Safety Programs for Natural Colors

Food safety is a priority topic for consumers, government bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and manufacturers globally. The European General Food Law (GFL) establishes that all rules applicable to foodstuffs must be based upon risk assessment. The European food safety system as part of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has been created to protect against any type of physical, biological and chemical hazard in food and is well-respected globally. At the same time, any given food safety regulation is only as good as the feasibility of its implementation and enforcement.

Sensient ensures proactive, preventive measures to manage food safety. Our Certasure™ self-certification process is more important than ever. Since ingredients from plant-based sources could inherently be prone to some food safety concerns, a comprehensive quality program is imperative. Following the lead of Dr. James E. Simon and a group of leading food scientists and safety experts, we launched our Certasure™ program—an integrated food safety program for botanical colorants.

In an assessment of 500 natural color materials from around the globe, Sensient’s Certasure™ program failed 1 out of 4 natural raw material samples for either microbiological contamination, adulteration, heavy metal content, pesticides or residual solvents. That statistic is alarming, and what food and beverage manufacturers should be most aware of is that these failed batches may still end up being sold into the market. It should not be this way!

It is up to suppliers to ensure raw materials from botanical sources are safe and authentic. Yet how well are suppliers testing to guarantee product safety? Testing is quite a task. Considering the analytical technology and equipment needed, it can be very cost-intensive, especially for small-scale suppliers with limited capabilities. While a robust quality department and food safety program is an investment, the potential of a brand’s recall can be significant and the impact to brand reputation even greater.

Food supplement manufacturers must have peace of mind when formulating with plant-based ingredients and we are here to assure you that raw materials used in natural colors from Sensient are guaranteed safe and authentic.

The expertise and depth of our quality assurance department is a huge asset in the natural coloring business. It’s been a focus area for Sensient from our beginning and has been building ever since. Food safety is a passionate topic for us and we welcome any conversation. You can contact us below should you have any questions about the Certasure™ program.

The Growing Market Need for Titanium Dioxide Free Alternatives


White is a critical color to the aesthetics of so many dietary supplement and pharmaceutical product applications, from two-piece hard capsules via soft gel capsules, to gummy vitamins and hard lozenges. The demand of a variety of options for product renovation or new product development couldn´t be larger as present. It was once the most widely used natural color across the landscape, especially with the strong color performance of TiO2 at very low usage rates. However, scrutiny and pushback from consumer advocacy groups and regulatory bodies across the globe continues to create uncertainty and controversy over the acceptance of titanium dioxide, so much that the once star color has seen a significant decline in usage over the past decade.


The official enactment of France’s Ban on titanium dioxide beginning January 1, 2020, heightened the global conversation in the pharmaceutical industry and spurred manufacturers worldwide to seek out TiO2-free alternatives. While French dietary supplement producers already claim on packaging that their product does not include any titanium dioxide for a while now, we expect to see other countries to follow the same approach. Even though, the European Commission does not plan to expand this ban to other European countries, German brands also started to target the mindful consumer while promoting product formulations that are developed without titanium dioxide.

Sensient has been following this global shift away from titanium dioxide very closely over the years and innovating solutions for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical manufacturers interested in cleaner ingredient alternatives. In order to address this market need, Sensient developed it’s global Avalanche™, Spectrablend™ TFN as well as Spectrablend™ CC portfolio.