Previously, it has offered lycopene in a direct-compressible powder for use in tablets as well as an oil dispersable version for capsules and oil-based foods, but the new cold water soluble product has been designed for beverages and other foods.
Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid that is found naturally in a range of red-coloured fruits including tomatoes, melons, papayas and pink grapefruits.
A number of studies suggest the potential of the ingredient to protect cells against the damage caused by reactive oxygen species, including those caused by UV radiation to the skin, and it appears in many dietary supplements designed to help protect the skin against UV damage.
A recent report from market research company Leatherhead foods detailing the anti-ageing foods category, flagged up carotenoids as a family of ingredients that are likely to become ever more present in the beauty from within category.
In addition, the report also noted that beverages, juices and fortified waters were the products likely to lead the category in Europe.
According to BASF, its new lycopene version, called LyciVit 10 CWD/S, can be used in a wide spectrum of product types, such as lemonades, fruit juices, sports drinks and ready-to-drink beverages – as well solid foods like dairy, cereals and nutrition bars.
In addition, the company said the ingredient can be used as a food colouring, as well as for its nutritional benefit.
BASF believes there is a growing market for carotenoids as food colourings, not least since the Southampton study drew a link between certain cocktails of artificial colours and sodium benzoate and hyperactivity in children.
As of mid-2010 products containing the Southampton colours (Sunset Yellow, Carmoisine, Allura Red, Tartrazine, Ponceau 4R, and Quinoline Yellow) will have to carry a warning label drawing attention to the hyperactivity connection.
BASF says carotenoids are helpful as a wide range of colours is available – and formulation technology means one ingredient can be used to give a range of different colours.