GNT has secured U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use of spirulina extract in beverages. This will help beverage formulators achieve vibrant blue shades and maintain clean labels.

GNT, which supplies plant-based EXBERRY® color concentrates, has developed a patented formulation technology that allows spirulina extract to remain temperature- and acid-stabilized in beverages. 

The EXBERRY® Blue Beverage Solution is suitable for use in a wide range of applications including sports, energy, and carbonated drinks; juice drinks; enhanced waters; and alcoholic beverages below 20% ABV.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) had previously only permitted the use of spirulina extract as a natural blue coloring ingredient in certain food products and powdered beverages. However, GNT has now successfully petitioned the FDA to amend the regulation to cover all non-alcoholic beverages as well as alcoholic beverages below 20% ABV. The update will come into effect on December 13, 2022.  

This means the EXBERRY® Blue Beverage Solution can be used as a clean-label replacement for Blue 1 in the vast majority of drink applications. It delivers a bright turquoise blue shade in acidified beverages with a pH range between 2.6 to 3.4 and can be combined with other EXBERRY® concentrates to deliver hues including navy blue, violet, and green. 

“GNT’s EXBERRY® Blue Beverage Solution at long last offers manufacturers a pathway to bright, stable, regulatory-approved, and consumer-friendly natural blue colors,” said GNT USA’s Technical Director, Jane MacDonald. “Natural blues have always presented challenges, from regulatory hurdles to technical limitations, but with GNT’s regulatory and technical expertise, we are excited to create new opportunities for beverage manufacturers.”

Consumer interest in spirulina has increased exponentially over the past decade in step with the FDA’s approval of natural blue colors derived from spirulina extract for products including yogurt, ice cream, and confectionery. 

GNT is the largest spirulina extract manufacturer in the world. Its spirulina supply chain is completely vertically integrated, beginning with raw material cultivation through to its dedicated product manufacturing facility to ensure commercial scale-up capabilities.

The company’s state-of-the-art facility also utilizes green energy generated from solar panels to enhance sustainability.

“Spirulina’s brisk market growth shows no signs of slowing down due to growing consumer awareness of this ingredient’s health halo, which taps into burgeoning wellness trends,” added GNT USA’s Vice President Jeannette O’Brien. “EXBERRY® colors are also created at our cutting-edge manufacturing facilities using gentle, physical processing methods that align with the transparency that these shoppers want to see.”

About GNT:   
GNT is the creator of EXBERRY®, the leading brand of natural colors for the food and beverage industry. EXBERRY® colors are derived solely from fruits, vegetables, and edible plants through a process of chopping, pressing, filtering and blending. EXBERRY® colors are organic compliant and contain only non-GMO ingredients. With a vertically integrated supply chain and world-class customer support, GNT provides customers through each stage of the formulation and development process, from technical, regulatory to commercial scale up support.