The changing shape of the world’s synthetic food colour industry

During the last ten years the global structure of the synthetic food colour manufacturers has changed significantly. In the west, synthetic food dyestuff manufacturers have disappeared or been acquired.

In the UK, historically one of the originating countries for the manufacture of synthetic food colors, there is today not a single independent producer. Japanese producers are traditionally strong in their local market only.

In the east, mainly from the India the reverse has happened. A whole generation of synthetic dyestuff manufacturers has emerged. Today, India happens to be the largest supplier of synthetic food dyes to the world market.

The Indian dyestuff industry has traditionally been small and fragmented with numerous producers of industrial and textile dyes. Most of these manufacturers are concentrated in industrial states in western India namely Maharashtra and Gujarat. Recognising a market place for higher quality dyes, few Indian manufacturers have risen to become global suppliers of food colours and cosmetic lakes & pigments which adhere to various international legislations.

One common mistake buyers make while buying from India, is buying based on checking of samples, websites and brochures! Buyers should visit the factory of the manufacturer before taking final decision. This will help in getting good reliable suppliers for food colours & cosmetic pigments from India.

Following due diligence should be carried out by buyers while dealing with Indian producers –

Buyers should conduct a quality audit of the manufacturer’s factory.

During the audit, the buyer should pay close attention to –

  • Plant hygiene and safety
  • Effluent treatment plant
  • Competency in offering quality and consistency-In-house laboratory with basic instruments like UV spectrophotometer, AAS (For metallic impurity checking), HPLC and computerised colour matching system.
  • Traceability (From Raw Material to Finished Lot)

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