tandoori chicken with natural colour - colour stability


Meat colour is significant to consumer acceptance of products hence natural food colours are used at various stages of the process to make it attractive, appealing, appetising, and informative. Over the past decade, manufacturers have started to switch from synthetic dyes to natural alternatives. More than 26,000 meat products are launched globally, coloured using paprika, turmeric, annatto, beta-carotene and redbeet. The most used natural colour in this category is paprika which gives a reddish orange shade to the final product.

When using natural colours in processed meat, technical challenges always persist. These challenges include cost in use, processing conditions, interaction with other ingredients, heat stability (undergo pasteurisation (~ 80°C)), light stability and colour change for various pH values and interaction with oxygen.

Mane Kancor and Mane have been able to uncover a variety of solutions to naturally colour meat and poultry products, through the line of natural colours “C-CAPTURE”.

Below is the colour Series which is an illustrative representation of our colour range and possible shades in application.

Mane Kancor’s colour stabilisation process is a synergistic play of carefully controlling the processing technology on one hand and the addition of an in-house functional ingredient like OxiKan on the other. ManeKancor uses advanced controlled size technology that creates formulations without the addition of extra ingredients, thereby minimising the instability caused by these ingredients interacting with each other and with the food matrix thus making each product as label-friendly as possible.

Meat and poultry processors prefer to use shades like yellow or reddish orange from annatto turmeric blends on the surface of cooked poultry to give it a more authentic and appealing look. Applications can be direct which include tandoori, barbeque, and rotisserie or roasted. It can also be included to spice blocks, seasonings and marinades.

The below study compares synthetic dyes (Sunset yellow & Carmoisine blend) with C-CAPTURE’s Sunrise series.


An application trial in Tandoori chicken comparing sample 1 (coloured using C-CAPTURE Sunrise series – Annatto blend) and sample 2 (coloured using synthetic colour E110+E122)

  1. To compare colour impartation between samples of C-CAPTURE’s Sunlight series and sample using synthetic colour in actual application.
  2. To establish a dosage pattern for Tandoori application.
  3. To check colour stability after grilling.

FORMULA – Tandoori Chicken 


Formulation details – All colour samples were mixed with seasoning powder which was used to flavour the product. Dosage maintained in seasoning powder was 0.625%.This dosage will provide 250 ppm colour in the final product.



  1. It is clear from the above pictures that the colours of both samples in marinated stage and after grilling were almost the same with sample 1 using C-CAPTURE, giving a more orange appearance.
  2. Dosage requirement for Tandoori application is 250 ppm in the final product.
  3. Colour samples were found stable in grilling at about 120°C.


1. Preparation Of Seasoning Powder
2. Marination And Grilling Of Chicken
3. Evaluation and comparison


We prepared two seasoning powders:

Sample 1: Coloured using C-CAPTURE Sunrise series – annatto blends

Sample 2: Coloured using synthetic colour E110+E122

The two samples contained colour at a dosage of 0.625%. We used 4% seasoning powders for the marination of chicken and the dosage was kept the same for all.

    1. The chicken was rinsed in water.
    2. Excess fat deposits were cut and removed using a knife.
    3. Weighing of ingredients was done as per the formulation which was mentioned in the above section “Formula”.
    4. Seasoning powder was divided into parts.
    5. One part was used to coat chicken pieces. Another part was utilised for the preparation of Tandoori batter. The batter contains hung curd, lemon juice, half part of seasoning and ginger garlic paste.
    6. Chicken pieces were coated with above mentioned seasoning powder first. Then it was coated with Tandoori batter. Marinating time was two hours.
    7. The grill was preheated.
    8. Chicken pieces were arranged on a roasting tray and grilled for 30 minutes.
    9. The chicken was turned periodically during the grilling process.
    10. After the grilling process, the chicken was evaluated organoleptically.