Top Picks Ice Cream Blog

Top Picks: Ice Cream

The hottest days of the year are coming and ice cream is one of the most popular products in summer with people of all ages! At Plant-Ex we are in the full swing of summer and can’t wait to share with you some inspiration.

Developing a new ice cream innovation can be exciting, but where do you start?

Ice creams should have a colour that is readily associated with their flavour, making them more appealing to consumers. Plant-Ex are here to help with your R&D for the summer season, by highlighting some of our favourite colour and flavour pairings.

Keep reading to find out more…

Purple Sweet Potato

purple sweet potato ice cream

Check out the dosage used here.

One of our favourite colours for ice cream is Purple Sweet Potato. If you are looking for a clean-label purple – look no further! As this colour belongs to the anthocyanin family, an E-number doesn’t need to be declared on the back of pack.

With Magenta being Pantone’s colour of the year for 2023, purple is a great way to hop on the trend! This colour pairs nicely with flavours such as Forest Fruits, Plum, or any deep purple fruits. Alternatively, think outside the box and go for a more sophisticated flavour such as lavender, giving your taste buds a new, botanical-themed experience… A great way to encourage a sense of adventure amongst your consumers!

Kiwi Green

kiwi green ice cream
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Our Kiwi Green colour is a blend of Safflower and Spirulina extracts, delivering a pastel green colour. With its fresh, pastel tones it can bring a delicate touch to your ice creams this summer.

Pair this with a cool mint flavour and add chocolate chips to create the classic ‘Mint Choc Chip’ flavoured ice cream. Alternatively, make a little nutty twist by using a pistachio flavour, aimed at a more mature taste palate.

Brands are constantly innovating, and more health-conscious consumers, manufacturers are looking to remove E-numbers from their product declarations. By using Plant-Ex’s ‘Kiwi Green’ colour, you have a clean-label declaration of your back of pack, reading ‘Spirulina Concentrate, Safflower Concentrate’.

Burnt Sugar Syrup

burnt sugar brown coloured ice cream
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Another clean-label colour that Plant-Ex recommends for ice cream manufacturing is Burnt Sugar Syrup. Delivering a golden light brown colour, this can be paired with flavours such as salted caramel, toffee or honeycomb.

Whilst consumers are becoming more adventurous with their flavours, there are classics that consumers will never veer away from. Burnt sugar works great alongside the popular brown flavours, which fit well within the indulgent and creamy category.

E150a is clean label and therefore doesn’t require you to declare the E-number on the back of pack.


safflower extract yellow coloured ice cream
Check out the dosage used here.

Safflower is yet again another clean-label option for ice cream manufacturers – providing a bright yellow colour. This works great alongside a pineapple or tropical flavour, as the natural colour from these fruits is enhanced by the yellow tones safflower provides.

Alcohol-infused desserts are on the rise, so combining Plant-Ex’s Pina Colada flavour with Safflower Extract will give them something to buzz about during the summer months. Decadent and delicious!

Red Beet

red beet extract pink coloured ice cream
Check out the dosage used here.

The three classic flavours of ice creams are vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. When looking at all 3 flavours in a Neapolitan ice cream tub, the strawberry always jumps out the most – purely down to the pretty pink colour! Typically, this is achieved using red beet concentrate. Red beet is considered both a Natural Colour and a Colouring Foodstuff, meaning it is up to the manufacturer whether its E-number has to be declared on the back of pack.

Other flavours that pair well with a red beet colour include raspberry, like in a raspberry ripple, or watermelon. Alternatively, if your target market is a younger audience, cotton candy flavour may be more exciting and adventurous… a unique seaside favourite for all kids!


natural beta carotene yellow coloured ice cream
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Carotenes are commonly used in dairy-based Vanilla ice creams to give a soft yellow tone. This replicates the visual effect of a high-butterfat dairy based which is associated with high-quality ice creams and dairy products.

Our NPD team recommend pairing carotenes with banana, vanilla or lemon flavours. You can also try using it in your plant-based ice creams, such as an almond flavour, ensuring they have a fresh and appealing appearance.


paprika extract orange coloured ice cream
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Paprika is derived from the Bell Pepper plant Capsicum Annum, providing a natural orange colour that can be added to your ice cream.

A paprika is great to pair with a ripe and juicy mango flavour as this allows you to improve the appearance and give the impression of higher fruit content in your mango ice cream, boosting the perception of healthiness. Adding a mango flavour will also impart a rich flavour to your delicious dessert, tasting like fresh fruit!

Instead, you could go slightly away from tradition and try using a blood orange flavour – this is becoming increasingly popular in 2023 as consumers look for flavours outside the box. Consumers can enjoy this alongside a chocolate brownie, otherwise, enjoy it alone – you won’t be disappointed.


spirulina blue coloured ice cream
Check out the dosage used here.

Generally, blue colours are aimed at children, so the flavours to be used alongside Plant-Ex’s Spirulina Extract won’t be ‘mature’ flavours. On the continent, the most common ice cream flavour with a blue colour is ‘Smurf’ flavour. In the UK this flavour is hard to come by, but it typically tastes like a sweet bubblegum flavour.

Spirulina is a clean-label colour within our Colouring Foodstuff range. It is a great way to add a bright, fun colour to your ice cream, all while keeping a clean back of pack, as the labelling can be declared as ‘Spirulina Concentrate’.

Carbon Black

carbon black paste in ice cream
Check out the dosage used here.

Looking for a scoop of something different? You may think black ice cream is a bit unusual, however, the novelty of it is what will make your product stand out on the shelf.

We recommend using this colour in a black sesame ice cream with a nutty taste, or even alongside a coconut flavour. Consumers love all things unusual!

It is important to note that ice cream expands as it is churned due to air being incorporated into it. This process is known as aeration. If you add a colour that has a strong emulsifier, such as Polysorbate 80, then the structure of the air bubbles de-stabilised and the ice cream won’t expand as much. This is particularly important for bulk products, soft scoop ice creams which have a much higher percentage of air incorporated into them.

Plant-Ex’s technical team are experts in the industry and have over 10 years of experience. They have developed a wide range of colours, specifically for ice cream manufacturers. To know more about the colours and our recommended dosages, get in touch today and request a copy of our portfolio.

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