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Malt extracts, either liquid or powder, can add color to products in all kinds of applications, in two ways.

Malt extracts used as added color

They act as a natural coloring agent – natural meaning not chemical: Malt extract is E-number free.

Malt extracts bring dark colors, from light brown to dark brown, “from hazelnut to coffee.” Depending on the quantity and/or quality, it is easy to control the tone of the color and it can be added at various points in the process. For coloring, “dark” malt extracts are convenient, inexpensive, useful ingredients. Malt extracts are a clever tool for getting a “clean label.”

Malt extracts as an indirect coloring agent

In the case of biological fermented products, i.e. leavened bakery products, malt extracts and malt-based ingredients (such as Diamaltone) give color to the crust. In this case simple sugars and peptides produced by diastatic activity enhance the overall browning effect, effectively improving the Maillard reaction.