Color Measurement for Food

Solutions to measure, evaluate, and control raw ingredients, recipe formulation, and food production to ensure accurate color on the store shelf.



Industry-Leading Solutions for Food Color Measurement

There’s been a lot of research around the role color plays in consumer food choices, and the key takeaway is this: Consumers look at color as a primary attribute of product quality. In fact, a consumer’s food or drink choice is often determined by color, even before the first taste. A consumer will likely pass on a pack of fruit juices that are a different color than the pack next to it or reach past a bag of potato chips that looks a shade too dark.

For food and beverage manufacturers, this research underscores the importance of color measurement and quality control. Not assessing raw materials or missing a shift in color can have serious financial implications. By measuring the color of samples frequently, quality control personnel can catch and correct mistakes before the product is relegated to a discount store shelf.

X-Rite’s Food Color Measurement Instruments and Software Can:

  • Identify variation in raw ingredients to quantify color differences
  • Measure the colour of hard-to-hold samples like seasoning powders, spices, jams, pastes, and liquids using sample holders
  • Capture transmittance measurements on liquid ingredients
  • Measure food without contact to avoid contaminating the sample or the spectrophotometer
  • Quality-grade food items and identify defects before shipment

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Color Measurement of Food Products

With X-Rite color measurement solutions, food manufacturers can evaluate color on incoming raw ingredients and ensure the quality of final products to positively influence consumer’s choice.

  • MetaVue VS3200: A non-contact imaging spectrophotometer with smart spot and on-screen targeting features to capture color on a variety of opaque food samples without contact.
  • Ci7520: A benchtop sphere spectrophotometer approved by the USDA to measure and grade frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ), canned concentrated orange juice (CCOJ), concentrated orange juice for manufacturing (COJFM), pasteurized orange juice (POJ), canned single strength orange juice (CSSOJ), and orange juice from concentrate (OJFC).
  • Ci7800: The supply chain instrument of choice, delivering ≤0.08 average dE* inter-instrument agreement and repeatability of ≤0.01 dE* to meet tight color tolerances on solid food samples as well as granules, gels, and liquids.
  • Parts and Accessories: Components that fit X-Rite spectrophotometers to hold solid items like pasta, dry ingredients like flour, seasoning powders and spices, thick liquids like jam and yogurt, and beverages like fruit juice and alcoholic drinks for accurate colour measurement.

Grading, Analyzing, and Reporting Food Quality

Pairing a food spectrophotometer with quality control software can help food manufacturers grade food for quality, monitor color throughout production, and catch errors before they ruin the batch. It can also link production data with shop manufacturing variables, such as ingredients in a particular batch or mixing time, to help you identify and track trends to improve your manufacturing process.

  • Color iQC: Software to streamline color measurement and recording in a centralized location for data analysis, reporting, traceability, and trend setting.
  • Munsell USDA Color Standards: Used by the USDA and many private food processors during inspection to evaluate food and produce quality. From tomatoes to French fries, Munsell Color Standards help determine which foods make it to store shelves.

Quality Control for Food Packaging

To further portray food quality and reinforce brand integrity, food packaging color must be consistent on every package on the shelf. X-Rite’s color measurement and quality control solutions ensure the color of each CPG brand design is accurate and consistent across substrates.

  • eXact Advanced: A handheld 45:0 spectrophotometer for ink rooms, quality control labs, and print and packaging manufacturing facilities to measure the color of ink and paper before, during, and after print production to ensure packaging color stays on target.
  • ColorCert: Customizable quality control software to unite brands and packaging converters to share and analyze color and print quality consistency.
  • Ci64: A handheld sphere spectrophotometer to accurately measure reflective surfaces like metallic ink and metalized film found on food packaging.

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