Economy, Domestic Economy

Setting Up Food Coloring Production Plant

Setting Up Food Coloring Production PlantSetting Up Food Coloring Production Plant

About 2,000 tons of food colorings are consumed annually in Iran by the food and pharmaceutical industries, with more than 700 tons of this figure being imported and the rest produced by 15 domestic factories.

This is stated in an article on food coloring production and the sector’s investment potential in Iran published in the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz.

Experts believe that the consumption rate of natural and synthetic food colorings are set to increase by 10% and 5% respectively in the coming years. This is due to expansion of the food industry and rising domestic demand, making investment in the production of food colorings a lucrative investment opportunity.

“An initial investment of close to $1.7 is required to set up a production line capable of annually producing about 50 tons of food colorings,” says Ali Rahmati, a food industry expert.

Relevant permits must be acquired from the Ministry of Health, which requires having a fully-equipped production unit consisting of sections such as weighing and formulation, and warehouses for dried plants, edible color additives, packaging materials and finished products.

The space required for setting up the production plant is about 10,000 square meters and 30 workers are needed for handling the production process.

The machinery needed for production include a sorting table, dryer machine, mill, weighing system, tanks for soaking the plants, evaporation devices, packaging and labeling machines as well as laboratory equipment, all of which are readily in Iran.

Food coloring or color additive is any die, pigment or substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink. It comes in many forms, including liquid, powder, gel and paste. Due to its safety and general availability, food coloring is also used in a variety of non-food applications, including cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Color additives are used in foods for many reasons, including offsetting color loss due to exposure to light, air, extreme temperatures, moisture and storage conditions, and making food more attractive and appetizing.

The additives authorized for the use in the food industry are of three types. First is natural colors made from plants and vegetables such as beets, spinach, safflower, turmeric, saffron, curcumin and annatto.

The second type, known as semi-natural or synthetic additives, is produced in the same manner as their natural counterparts through the analysis of the structure of the natural materials and replicating them using chemicals.

The third type, known as chemical or non-organic colors, is completely based on industrial chemicals.

Back in the 1980s, Iran’s Ministry of Health banned food colorings in any type of food due to the rampant use of unauthorized color additives. However, it did not take long to reverse the decision by making some considerations.

Now, 34 years on, food colorings are used more than ever in the production of beverages, sauces and pastes, jellies, ice creams, juices and pastries in factories, and other types of homemade foods and desserts.