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1. (WO2019005915) PLANT-DERIVED COLOURING TEXTURANTS
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A plant-derived texturising and colouring agent, said agent comprising a plant carotenoid pigment and pectin-containing fibrous plant matter, both of which have been recovered together from the same starting plant material, and an antioxidant, wherein the pectin-containing fibrous plant matter can impart texture to an aqueous composition, the carotenoid can impart colour to an aqueous composition, and the antioxidant is present in an amount effective to prevent degradation of a substantial portion of the carotenoid thereby maintaining the colour of the agent.

2. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the carotenoid pigment content of the texturising and colouring agent is at least about 0.01 %, (w/w) of the dry weight of the agent.

3. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the pectin has a degree of esterification of about 0 to about 80.

4. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the pectin has a degree of amidation of not more than about 25%.

5. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the pectin has a degree of acetylation of about 40 or less.

6. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the antioxidant is selected from the group consisting of a tocopherol, a tocotrienol, ascorbic acid or salts thereof, antioxidant derivatives of ascorbic acid, and antioxidant derivatives of rosemary extract.

7. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the carotenoid pigment is selected from the group consisting of a carotene, β carotene, lutein, capsanthin, capsorubin, bixin and norbixin.

8. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 , wherein the plant material is selected from the group consisting of plant species within the mosses, the ferns, the palms, the conifers, the ginkgos, the monocots and the dicots.

9. The plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 wherein the plant-derived texturising and colouring agent has a water content of less than 30% w/w.

10. A method for preparing a plant-derived texturising and colouring agent, said agent comprising a plant carotenoid pigment and pectin-containing fibrous plant matter, wherein the pectin-containing fibrous plant matter can impart texture to an aqueous composition and the carotenoid pigment can impart colour to an aqueous composition, said method comprising;

a) providing a naturally pigmented plant material containing a pectin and a carotenoid pigment,

b) adjusting the pH of said plant material to equal to or above about pH 8 or equal to or below about pH 5 and incubating said plant material for a time and at a

temperature which are sufficient to form a pectin-containing fibrous plant matter which can impart texture to an aqueous composition

c) recovering said pectin-containing fibrous plant matter and said carotenoid pigment; and

d) combining an antioxidant with the plant material and/or the texturising and colouring agent, thereby providing said texturising and colouring agent.

11. The method of Claim 10 wherein naturally pigmented plant material containing a pectin and a carotenoid pigment is provided in dry form, as a moist paste or as a wet slurry or suspension.

12. The method of Claim 10 further comprising the additional step of;

(i) applying a mechanical disruption means to intact or partially intact water containing naturally pigmented plant material containing a pectin and a carotenoid pigment and optional removal of at least part of the liquid phase, or

(ii) reconstituting dried naturally pigmented plant material containing a pectin and a carotenoid pigment.

13. The method of Claim 12 wherein mechanical disruption means is selected from the group consisting of wet milling, homogenization, and high pressure homogenization.

14. The method of Claim 10 wherein the naturally pigmented plant material containing a pectin and a carotenoid pigment is subjected to a thermal treatment.

15. The method of Claim 10 wherein the naturally pigmented plant material containing a pectin and a carotenoid pigment is subjected to an enzyme treatment.

16. The method of Claim 10 wherein step (b) is repeated following a pH neutralisation step.

17. The method of Claim 16 wherein the cycle of alternating acid treatment and alkali treatment steps is repeated for at least 3 cycles.

18. The method of Claim 16, wherein a portion of the aqueous phase is removed between one or more of said acid treatment and alkali treatment steps and/or cycles thereof.

19. The method of Claim 10 wherein the method comprises as the final incubation step an acid treatment step which removes at least a portion of any divalent cations in the pectin-containing fibrous plant matter.

20. A method for the production of a plant-derived texturizing and colouring agent comprising:

a) providing a naturally pigmented plant material containing pectin and a carotenoid pigment, wherein said material is yellow and/or orange carrot pulp;

b) adjusting the pH of the carrot pulp of step a) to about pH 12 with Ca(OH)2 and incubating the pulp about 1 hour at about 5°C;

c) filtering the treated carrot pulp of step b) and resuspending the pulp in water; d) adjusting the pH of the carrot pulp of step c) to about pH 1.3 with and incubating the pulp for about 10 mins at about 22°C;

e) filtering the treated carrot pulp of step d) and resuspending the pulp in water; f) washing the carrot pulp of step e) with deionised water until pH is about 3.0 to about 3.3;

g) combining the carrot pulp of step f) with ascorbic acid to a final concentration of about 250ppm; and

h) recovering the pulp of step g) containing a fibrous pectin and carotenoid pigment whereby a texturizing and colouring agent is produced.

21. The method of Claim 20 wherein steps d) and e) are repeated one of more times.

22. A method for the production of a plant-derived texturizing and colouring agent comprising:

a) providing a naturally pigmented plant material containing pectin and a carotenoid pigment, wherein said material is yellow and/or orange carrot pulp;

b) adjusting the pH of the carrot pulp of step a) to about pH 2.0 - 2.1 with and incubating the pulp for about 10 minutes at about 22°C or room temperature;

c) filtering the treated carrot pulp of step b) and resuspending the pulp in water; d) adjusting the pH of said carrot pulp of step c) to about pH 2.9 and refiltering;

e) resuspending the pulp of step d) in de-ionized water and readjusting the pH to about 2.8 with citric acid;

f) incubating the pulp of step e) at about 75C for about 25 minutes;

g) cooling the pulp of step f) to room temperature and combining it with a solution of ascorbic acid and Na-citrate where the ascorbic acid attains a concentration of about 1200 ppm and a pH of 3.7; and

h) recovering the treated pulp comprising fibrous pectin and carotenoid pigment wherein a texturizing and colouring agent is produced.

23. The method of Claim 22 wherein steps b) and c) may be repeated one or more times.

24. A plant-derived texturising and colouring agent obtained by the method of Claim 10.

25. A method of texturising and colouring a composition, said method comprising incorporating the plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1 into the

composition under conditions suitable for the texturising and colouring properties of the agent to take effect.

26. A composition obtained by the method of Claim 25.

27. A composition comprising the plant-derived texturising and colouring agent of Claim 1

28. The composition of claim 26 wherein the composition is a foodstuff, a beverage, a pharmaceutical, a nutraceutical, a cosmetic or a personal hygiene composition.