Color plays a major role in the food industry, influencing how individuals perceive different products. Consumers often associate color with flavor, leading them to judge how something will taste based on how it looks. This tendency is especially true in the cereal industry.

Several factors impact color quality in cereals, such as ingredients and manufacturing processes. Monitoring these elements through color assessments helps companies ensure color consistency by documenting color changes and performing quality control tests.

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What Are Color Standards and Why Are They Important?

Color standards offer a point of reference for color measurement in near-ultraviolet to near-infrared applications. These standards also take into account a product's surface properties, or whether the object reflects or diffuses light.

Cereal color standards are important due to their influence in the following areas:

  • Taste perception: A cereal's color can influence how the product tastes to consumers, as dark-looking cereal flakes will likely taste burnt, while pale pieces may be underdone.
  • Consumer judgment: Consumers make quick judgment calls based on cereal colors, basing their decisions on how they look and choosing the most appealing options.
  • Health perception: Cereal color can impact health perception, with artificial colors potentially making cereal appear unhealthy, while natural colors indicate better ingredients.
  • Color requirements: While every person perceives color differently, color standards enable companies to clearly communicate their color specifications in a widely recognized language.
  • Consistency: Setting precise color standards ensures consistent color quality across manufacturers and production runs, ensuring every batch has the same visual appeal.

Meeting Cereal Industry Color Standards

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved color additives are safe for use in food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. There are seven FDA-certified color additives for cereal products:

  • FD&C Blue No. 1
  • FD&C Blue No. 2
  • FD&C Green No. 3
  • FD&C Red No. 3
  • FD&C Red No. 40
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6

Your cereals can meet FDA color standards using color technologies, which measure variables that impact food color and alert product developers to any necessary changes. These instruments eliminate color inconsistencies in human visual assessments by controlling factors that can interfere with color perception, such as light sources, view angles, light quality and changes in texture and consistency. As a result, you can develop a color average to define quality control standards across your product batches.

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Trust HunterLab for Meeting Color Standards for the Cereal Industry

You can expertly use color additives in cereal with color spectrophotometers from HunterLab. Our dependable color measurement products deliver accurate, quantifiable color measurements to help users meet their individualized needs.

Contact us to learn more about our solutions today!