Caramel color or caramel coloring is a water-soluble food coloring. It is made by heat treatment of carbohydrates, in general in the presence of acids, alkalis, or salts, in a process called caramelization. It is more fully oxidized than caramel candy, and has an odor of burnt sugar and a somewhat bitter taste. Its color ranges from pale yellow to amber to dark brown.
Caramel color is one of the oldest and most widely used food colorings, and is found in many commercially produced foods and beverages, including batters, beer, brown bread, buns, chocolate, cookies, cough drops, spirits and liquor such as brandy, rum, and whisky, chocolate-flavored confectionery and coatings, custards, decorations, fillings and toppings, potato chips, dessert mixes, doughnuts, fish and shellfish spreads, frozen desserts, fruit preserves, glucose tablets, gravy, ice cream, pickles, sauces and dressings, soft drinks (especially colas), sweets, vinegar, and more. Caramel color is widely approved for use in food globally but application and use level restrictions vary by country.
|Class||INS No.||E Number||Description||Restrictions on preparation||Used in|
|I||150a||E150a||Plain caramel, caustic caramel, spirit caramel||No ammonium or sulfite compounds can be used||Whiskey and other high proof alcohols|
|II||150b||E150b||Caustic sulfite caramel||In the presence of sulfite compounds but no ammonium compounds can be used||Cognac, sherry and some vinegars|
|III||150c||E150c||Ammonia caramel, baker's caramel, confectioner's caramel, beer caramel||In the presence of ammonium compounds but no sulfite compounds can be used||Beer, sauces, and confectionery|
|IV||150d||E150d||Sulfite ammonia caramel, acid-proof caramel, soft-drink caramel||In the presence of both sulfite and ammonium compounds||Acidic environments such as soft drinks|
Stored in tightly closed containers in a cool and dry environment, preferably not to exceed 25ºC. Avoid from direct light, oxygen and freezing.