Nature has a never-ending color palette to choose from. From the deep green of lush forests to the mossy undergrowth, ash gray of foggy mornings, and berry tones to grape purple, it’s easy to find a natural hue that fits a desired feel. However, there are some drawbacks to choosing a natural color palette, including the fact that they may not be as vibrant or stable as synthetic colors.
Despite this, more designers are looking to go natural and are turning to these hues for their designs. The newest developments in this area include new shades, and colors that are more durable during various types of processing. For example, there are new natural blue colors made from spirulina, a type of algae.
This dye comes in liquid and instant powder forms for ease of use. It’s also trehalose-free, which makes it a good choice for vegans and vegetarians. And, it’s also a good option for high-temperature applications such as baked goods and ice cream, says Pauleau.
Natural colors are a safe alternative to synthetic colors because they are sourced from edible sources, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds and minerals. Some of these natural coloring agents are quite ancient, such as turmeric and saffron that have been used since 300 BC, and others are relatively modern such as annatto and beta-carotene. Natural colorants are typically formulated for their stability in heat, light and pH. For instance, anthocyanins are natural pigments found in some plants that turn red under acidic conditions and blue under alkaline conditions.