A New Natural Blue colouring is now available.
Stop and think for a minute – how many blue foods do you know of?
The first food that comes to mind are blueberries and maybe then blue vein cheese, and then the struggle begins in trying to think of others.
Blue is not a usual colour of food and in fact humans tend to stay away from blue foods as in the dark dim past blue was probably associated with mould and so we have learnt over time to not eat food this colour.
However blue colouring is essential to get the right tones of other colours, particularly green. Currently a synthetic blue colouring is usually used as natural blue colourings are rare.
A group of international researchers, including University of California, Davis chemists and scientists at the Mars Advanced Research Institute and Mars Wrigley Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Nagoya University, Japan; the University of Avignon, France; and SISSA University, Italy, have recently discovered a new colouring called Cyan Blue which is a natural blue. It has been sourced from red cabbage. The work was published in Science Advances on 7 April.
The blue anthocyanin is only present in the red cabbage in very small amounts so a process has had to be developed to make more available.
The key was enzymes. Much research had to be done and finally a specific enzyme was designed which has allowed for the tiny amount of this blue anthocyanin to be converted into a useable natural blue colouring.
As a result of this research a start up company has been set up to develop the technology involved in this process for commercial applications.