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Use of Pearl Pigments in Food and Medicine

Mar 07, 2022

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Use of Pearl Pigments in Food and Medicine

In addition to industrial functional applications, pearl pigments are also increasingly used to improve the appearance of products, for example in cosmetics, because attractive colors and effects are pleasing to appreciators and consumers. Multilayer pigments can likewise be used in the food and pharmaceutical fields for enhanced color effects or for coloring, as long as they have been prepared according to the corresponding strict purity and quality specifications.

Pigments with pearly luster or interfering colors for food and pharmaceutical applications, their use for coloring products. However, these products have the disadvantage that the coloring performed to cover the original color of the product may be too heavy or too light. However, it is often desirable to keep the original product color and refine it only with additional color gloss effects. Thus, the dye content in the product to be coloured can also be reduced prior to colouring with multi-layer pigments.

The widening range of colors for food and pharmaceutical products allows the resulting products to impart an additional improved sensory experience. Visual upgrades are particularly valuable for pharmaceutical products because tablets coated with different colors are more easily distinguished from uncoated tablets.

Surprisingly, pearlescent pigments have now been found to be very suitable for improving the appearance of food and pharmaceutical products. Particularly preferred metal oxides are TiO2, Fe2O3, and Fe3O4. Especially the combination with layers of TiO2 and/or Fe3O4 and natural dyes or multi-layered pigments equivalent to natural dyes, colored pigments or colored fruit and plant extracts impart novel and interesting colors to foods.

Compared to previous effect pigment products, products colored with pearl pigments have significantly greater color strength and clarity, better luster, and exhibit a color drop of two or more colors.

It has been found that even very small amounts of pearl pigments can impart new and interesting colors and new properties to food or pharmaceutical products. A preferred result is that the amount of multi-layer pigments to achieve coloration of the product is 0.0025 to 75.0 wt.%, preferably 0.0025 to 50 wt.%, especially 0.05 to 25.0 wt.%, based on the weight of the product.

In the case where the pigment is directly mixed with a food or pharmaceutical product during preparation, the pearlescent pigment is preferably used in an amount of 0.005 to 4 wt.%. In the case of food or tablet surface treatment, the amount is in the range of 0.02 to 15.0 wt.%, preferably 0.5 to 6.0 wt.%, based on the weight of the pigment or coating solution.