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FoodSci News: Start-up Company finishes strong in global competition

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Start-up Company finishes strong in global competition

​Purdue Ag Administration

Phytoption LLC, a start-up company based at Purdue Research Park with which Yuan Yao, Food Science, is associated, was awarded runner-up among more than 220 entries in the Global Food and Health Innovation Challenge in November at the Global South Summit in Nashville, Tenn., for its All Natural Food Color initiative. Phytoption won the award after being named one of six finalists and presenting its business plan to judges and investors. By using all natural and sustainable food materials, Phytoption promotes large-scale, broad-spectrum use of natural colors - a nearly $1 billion market - in the food industry. Because of health concerns, replacing artificial food colors with natural food colors is a major trend in the food market. Scientific studies have linked artificial food colors to health problems in humans, especially increased hyperactivity in children. Natural food colors are coloring materials extracted from natural resources, such as plants. Most of these materials, such as beta-carotene, are antioxidants, providing not only coloring but also potential health benefits.

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