Phytolon appears in Weizmann’s Wonder Wander
All Natural Color
Weizmann Wonder Wander
News, Features and Discoveries from the Weizmann Institute of Science
15 July 2019
Phytolon, a start-up based on Weizmann Institute technology, aims to replace artificial food dyes with safe, cost-effective, stable, all-natural colors
Like bees to flowers or bears to ripe fruit, we are first attracted to food by its color. That is why everything from soft drinks to cheese contain added color – much of it still artificial despite the known health risks. A new start-up, using technology developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, is developing a novel kind of natural food dye that will compete with the artificial dyes in price, stability and range of hues.
The start-up ‒ Phytolon ‒ is now working on scaling up the production of plant pigments called betalains. Betalains are best known for the deep color of beets and the bright ones of bougainvillea, but they come in shades from dark purple to yellow. Betalains are rare compared to other plant pigments, however, and they had not, until now, been well studied.