Four Kinds of Caramel? Insight on the world’s most popular food coloring

Did you know there are four different classes of caramel color? Did you know caramel color is the most used food coloring in the world? Here’s an interesting article by Food Business News, and the eye-opening insight from DDW.

Article: “Beverage ingredients in the spotlight” – Food Business News

Green-Eyed Insight – Highlights of the Article

All four classes of caramel are produced through heat treatment of sugar. All four classes are considered safe by the FDA but each class has different behaviors and chemical characteristics that make it more or less suitable for certain applications. For example, a different class of caramel is better suited for the tannins in iced tea than the class that works best in certain chocolate milk products.

California – I love you but some of your laws are annoying

GreenEyedGuide So Cal 13
SoCal Girl with Lucky 13

I’m proud to be a Southern California native but some of our well-intentioned laws drive more consumer confusion and misdirected concern than they ought to. Prop 65 continues to be a thorn in the side of food scientists and manufacturers, as well as a terrific source of income for plaintiff lawyers (see how bad it is: Natural Products Insider).

My favorite quote from this Food Business News article talks about how levels of 4-Mel (4-methylimidazole) in caramel are regarded safe at significantly higher doses than the limits set by California’s Prop 65. Oh, California….

Bottom Line

It’s not like we needed another reason not to drink soda (see Related Post, below), but for the sake of consumer awareness it’s beneficial to remember that sodas are not the only source of this 4-Mel component-of-concern. Roasting coffee beans and grilling meat naturally forms 4-Mel but I pity the fool who tries to regulate something as American as grilling meat, or the person that tries to confiscate my coffee on a Monday morning.

Coffee Lovers Unite at
Coffee Lovers Unite at


Related Posts: Diet Soda and Sadness


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