Beta-carotenes and their influence on the development of functional drinks

Beta-carotenes are a type of carotenoids which is mostly found in plants, belongs to the flavonoid family and one of its main advantages is that it has provitamin A activity.

  • It should be noted that alone, that is, in the form of carotene, it also has other functions.

Beta-carotene itself is not an essential nutrient, but vitamin A yes it is. However, it is not the only source of this vitamin, as it can be found in foods such as:

  • Egg
  • Leche
  • Liver
  • Butter

One of the most important uses of beta-carotene emulsions and dispersions is found in carbonated drinks, including water, juices and sports drinks. Each of these beverages has specific challenges for formulators.

Factors such as ingredient interactions and process conditions can adversely affect color stability.

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Challenges in beta-carotene beverage formulations

One of the main challenges it faces food and beverage industry is that the use of carotenoids in food, feed and feed additives has low solubility and stability in water.

As such, new techniques and formulations of carotenoid ingredients have been developed over the years to overcome these problems.

Some new solutions include interesting formulations using encapsulation or emulsion techniques, as well as formulations with hydrophilic substances to increase solubility in water, or lipid-based formulations to improve compound stability.

Appropriate temperature, lower oxygen levels and reduced exposure to light can also retain much of the carotenoids found in food products and dietary supplements.

During storage, optimal temperature and the absence of antioxidants are essential to maintain the concentration of carotenoids.

One of the main challenges facing the food and beverage industry is its low solubility and stability in water.

Stability as the main drawback

Whether it is stabilize the color of the drink or integrating vitamins, minerals or sweeteners, beverage manufacturers face different challenges when developing functional beverages with beta-carotene.

Since it is implemented throughout European Union (EU) Mandatory warning about synthetic colors in food and beverages has increased the trend towards the use of natural colors. They, in turn, have the disadvantage that they are not as stable as artificial dyes.

Cause of sensitivity of many natural colors, it is important to carry out appropriate storage tests with special light sources. To do this, it is recommended to combine yellow or orange beta-carotene with ascorbic acid to ensure long-term color stability in the drink.

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