Merck KGaA recognized for its Candurin range of pearl effect colors for food sector; company acknowledged for reportedly overcoming challenges associated with pearlescent pigments

LONDON , November 29, 2011 (press release) – High Quality Candurin® Range of Mineral Pearl Effect Colors Offer Unique Benefits That Effectively Target Market Needs

The 2011 Frost & Sullivan Global Product Differentiation Excellence Award in Food Colors has been presented to Merck KGaA for its Candurin® range of pearl effect colors. The Award is in recognition of Merck's accomplishments in the food colors sector. Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards identifies exemplary achievements within a multitude of industries and functional disciplines each year.

"With its Candurin® range, Merck KGaA has overcome challenges associated with pearlescent pigments, including dust in the food manufacturing center, safety and labelling data, technical support for application development and stability," opined the Frost & Sullivan Best Practices team. "The Candurin® range of mineral food grade pearl effect colors is a replacement for the ubiquitous color lake and dyes used in chocolates, confectioneries and other foods. In particular, Candurin® can effectively replace insoluble artificial colors, thereby perfectly matching the growing market need for natural food ingredients," the jury concluded.

Gold, silver, bronze, blue, red and green color effects can be created with Merck's Candurin® pearl effect colors. The color effects are created out of mineral components -- potassium aluminum silicate (mica - E 555), titanium dioxide (E 171) and/or iron oxide (E 172). "Natural and artificial colors cannot recreate the effects of pearlescent sheen or shimmer that Candurin® can create in food matrices," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Dr. Kaushik Ramakrishnan Shankar. "Candurin® can be used to create either silky sheen or brilliant glitter and can also be blended with other colors."

Inclusions of the pigments can be as low as 0.05% depending on the formulation and kind of application being used. Since all the colors are created with just two ingredients which have E-numbers and mica as a color carrier, which need not be included according to EU regulations, labelling is less cumbersome for customers.

Candurin® is Kosher and Halal certified. It is non-allergenic based on its composition and properties and is supported by full documentation covering usage directions and labelling instructions. The five-year shelf life, in addition to the inherent stability of the product in varying conditions of pH, temperature and light in the food product that it is applied in, underlines its high quality.

A dedicated application lab for Candurin® that can provide technical support for customers including product development is another unique selling point. In addition, on-site support to customers, ability to supply large quantities in a timely manner and positioning in pharmaceuticals for supporting anti-counterfeiting add to the perception of Candurin® being a unique brand.

"Merck's distinctive brand name recognition, in addition to its production process, is unmatched," says Dr. Shankar. "The key differentiator in quality is the vast experience that Merck has in producing and supplying pearlescent pigments for other applications; Candurin® is currently the only range of Merck´s colors which is marketed in diverse applications as food, beverages and pharmaceuticals."

"Moreover, it is neutral in taste and odor and does not affect the organoleptic properties of the finished food in any way," concludes Dr. Shankar. "The unique platelet shape of the pigments ensures that the higher particle size pigments in the range do not develop a gritty or sandy mouth feel in comparison to spherical-shaped pigments or other insoluble food additives, for example."

The Product Differentiation Excellence Award is presented to the company that has excelled in the following criteria: developing unique product features/functionality, quality and complexity, customizing the offering, matching target markets needs and promoting brand perception of the uniqueness of the product.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Merck KGaA
Merck is one of the world's leading suppliers of effect pigments for the coatings, plastics, printing, cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries. Effect pigments underscore the emotional impact of color and are an important design element when creating surfaces with special impressions or qualities. More information on Candurin® can be found at http://www.merck4food.com/Candurin

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

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