Due to fast growth of clean label movement, the term natural colour was defined by “Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008” which explains the detailed rules on the use of food additives. This regulation was updated in 2010 (Commission Regulation 257/2010) and established a program for re-evaluation of approved natural colours. Natural colorants are preparations obtained from a wide range of sources like vegetables, fruits, plants, minerals and other edible natural sources by physical and/or chemical extraction resulting in a selective extraction of the pigments relative to the nutritive or aromatic constituents. The natural colorants can be divided into dyes (colour that is soluble in a medium) and pigments (finely ground particles of colour which are suspended in a medium).

BonuPrint® (BP) is a fine, homogenous, liquid pigment dispersion for solid oral dosage form which provides possibilities to print logos, brand names or barcodes onto oral dosage forms. Natural pigments can play an important role to increase the availability of the BP in different nutraceutical fields. Therefore, development of a BP with clean label approved natural pigments which provides similar characteristic like the standard BP can increase the range of its applications.

Printing inks such as BP are composed of liquid phase and solid phase. The liquid phase is used as a vehicle system to carry solid contents, adjust viscosity and drying time of the ink, whereas the solid phase is a polymer responsible for film formation, a covering agent to provide enough opacity and colour pigments to produce different colours. Depending on the used liquid phase, they can be divided into water based and solvent based inks. Generally, the water based inks are a mixture of mainly water and a small amount of alcohol as vehicle system, whereas the solvent based inks are a mixture of alcohols as vehicle system. The two types of inks have similar applications but the main difference is the easier handling and cleaning process of water based inks.

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BIOGRUND_BonuPrint®, a natural printing ink for the food and nutraceutical industries