Michroma is developing natural vegan-friendly food colourants powered by fungi to overhaul synthetic and animal-based, non-vegan food dyes.

  • The product is part of a new family of fungal-derived pigments, called atrorosins, that the cofounders discovered. The natural red food coloring is produced using fungal fermentation. More about atrorosins here.
  • Atrosins are derived from the filamentous fungus Talaromyces atroroseus. Leveraging proprietary fermentation protocol, the fungus and colorant are separated, and the colorant is processed.
  • Natural Red from Chromologics is pH and temperature stable and aims to replace carmine (derived from insects), betanine (derived from beets) and synthetic coloring, Red 40.

Read more about this here.

Additional businesses making bio-based food colors:

  • Sages and Osmose: These companies dye sheets of mycelium leather with natural food waste, mimicking the appearance of tanned leather.
  • Phytolon: This Israeli startup is engineering yeast to produce betalain pigments, which are naturally found in beetroot.
  • Treffert: This German company has formulated new bio-based dyes for the production of greener plastics. The pigments come exclusively from plants such as chlorophyll green, indigo blue, madder red, and others.

The biobased food coloring market is estimated to reach US$ 15.80 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 5.3%.

The largest market share is held by the Asia-Pacific region, which includes India.

Know more on bio- based dye market here.

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