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Lake Pigments

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What are Lake Pigment ?

Lakes are insoluble pigments prepared by “extending” a water soluble dye on an insoluble substrate. Dyes provide color by transmission of light through the dye while lakes exhibit color by reflection of light off the surface of the lake pigment.

Why use lake pigments ?

- Lakes are used where dyes do not provide satisfactory performance or where they do not work at all. If there is little or no water in a product to dissolve a dye, the dye will not exhibit its intended color and lakeds must be used. If “bleed” is a problem ,lakes are often a viable alternative. Color bleed occurs when water soluble dyes migrate through or completely off the product , through moisture in or on a food item.

- In fats and oils where the dyes will yield a weak , transparent color , lakes are the preferred colorant. Salad dressing , sauces and gravies , coatings and icings , and creme filling in cookies ,Biscuits , donuts or confectionery are some examples.

- Hard shell sugar coated candies made with lakes will not bleed and temporarity stain your hands or mouthas will dyes. Lakes are also useful when you want to create a decorated product with different colors in contact side by side. Striped chocolate candies or striped icings on birthday cake or a convenience breakfast bar are examples. If dyes are used , the interface of the colors will degenerate (and spread) to a blended color , usually someshade of brown.

- Food grade inks require lakes to avoid smearing of the image when toughed or exposed to humidity. Food grade plastics that contain virtually no moisture , such as those used in colored plastic orange juice or milk jugs , require lake pigments for coloring. Lakes are also used in wax cheese coatings, chewing gum , cake mixes , food grade films , fruit preparations , marshmallow coatings , and many other applications.

Why are so many different types of Lakes used ?

There are really only two basic product variables in the product line of any brand of lakes: the parent dye and dye content. Lakes with dye percentagesin the teens , twenties , and thirties to low forties are referred to as “low-dye” , “mid-dye” , and “high-dye” lakes , respectively. A common misconception is that higher dye content yields a “stronger” lake. The strenght (intensity or the coloring power) of a lake and its dye content are unrelated. Dye content really has more to do with the shade of a lake (see the color chart at the right) , not the strenght. If yiu like a shade of your product , but want more intense coloration , you must use more lake (after assuring yourself that you are achieving satisfactory dispersion of the lake in your product).The other key parameters are the shape and the size of the lake pigment particle. These characteristics control how much surface area of pigment is present per pound of lake added an how effectively the incident light is reflected. These two parameters are the primary determinants of coloring strength and consistency and they vary between brands of lake. Buying Roha lakes assures you that you are receiving strong ,consistent quality lakes and custom color matching assistance as well.

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