Unintended discovery of a new natural orange colour

Tuesday, 27 June, 2017


Gregory R Ziegler, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University was extracting starch from avocado pits when he noticed something interesting — when avocado pits are pulverised, an enzymatic reaction produces a bright orange colour. After extracting the starch, Ziegler just couldn’t get the colour to wash away.

So he and associate professor of food science Joshua Lambert put in the hard yards to identify the coloured compound. The pair’s research, which proved both the stability of the colour and the wide spectrum of orange, yellow and red hues available, led them to a simple conclusion: the substance would be a perfect natural food colour.

Persea Naturals was born, with plans to bring a natural food colour product line, AvoColor, to the commercial market. ‘Persea’ comes from Persea americana, the scientific Latin plant name for the avocado plant.

Not only is AvoColor more vibrant and stable than most other natural options, it’s likely to be extremely cost-effective. Avocado pits, which are the source, are currently discarded in large volumes by the prepared food and restaurant industries.

AvoColor has been highly successful in nearly every test, whether it’s added to dairy products, baked goods or beverages.

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