Caramel color is one of the oldest and most widely used food colorings, and used in 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. Though it’s considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.
What Is Caramel Color?
Caramel Color is a water soluble viscous electro positive liquid color. It is made by heat treatment of carbohydrates. Its color can range from pale yellow to amber to dark brown. Caramel color is one of the oldest and most widely used food colorings. Caramel Color is classfied as an ammonia caramel, baker’s caramel, confectioner’s caramel and beer caramel. Caramel Color can be used in beer, sauces and confectionary food and beverages based applications.
Possible Side Effects of Caramel Color
Caramel color is generally considered a safe ingredient. The side effects may:
Possible short-term side effects
- allergic reactions
Possible long-term side effects
- increased blood pressure
- decreased white blood cell count
GRAS Affirmation: Yes
Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Caramel Color is considered safe by FDA.
The current acceptable daily intake (ADI) of caramel colors is 300 mg per kg body weight per day (mg/kg bw/day). The ADI is set on the basis that there are no concluded evidence that it may harm humans. The caramel E 150c has a lower limit, an ADI of 150 mg/kg bw/day. It has a lower set limit due to its 2-acetyl-4-tetrahydroxibutylimidazole (THI). Its possible side effects are uncertain.
Special Populations Precaution
There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Caramel Color populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Caramel Color.
1. Determination of 4-Methylimidazole and 2-Acetyl-4()- tetrahydroxybutylimidazole in Caramel Color and Processed Foods by LC-MS/MS [Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2013 Dec] Author: Kim TR, Kim SU, Shin Y, Kim JY, Lee SM, Kim JH.
2. Determination of 4-Methylimidazole and 2-Acetyl-4()- tetrahydroxybutylimidazole in Caramel Color and Processed Foods by LC-MS/MS. [Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2013 Dec] Author: Kim TR, Kim SU, Shin Y, Kim JY, Lee SM, Kim JH.
3. Immunotoxic effects of the color additive caramel color III: immune function studies in rats. [Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1993 Jan] Author: Houben GF, Penninks AH, Seinen W, Vos JG, Van Loveren H.