1. M. W. Driver and F. J. Francis, "Stability of Phytolaccanin, Betanin, and FD & C Red No. 2 in Dessert Gels," J. Food Sci. 44, 518-520 (1979).

2. M. W. Driver and F. J. Francis, "Purification of Phytolaccanin by Removal of Phytolaccatoxin from Phytolaccca americana," J. Food Sci. 44, 52-523 (1979).

3. R. L. Jackman and J. L. Smith, "Anthocyanins and Betalains," in G. A. F. Hendry and J. D. Houghton, eds., Natural Food Colorants, Blackie Publishers, Glasgow, Scotland, 1992.

4. J. H. von Elbe, "Stability of Betalains as Food Colors," Food Technol. 29, 42-16 (1975).


The heating of sugar preparations to create brown, flavorful, and pleasant-smelling products has been practiced in home cooking for centuries. The sauces or candies are known as caramels, but commercial practices to prepare caramel colorants began in Europe about 1850. The first caramel colorants were prepared by heating sugars in an open pan, but in view of their popularity, modifications were soon introduced. Caramel colorants that were compatible with various food products were desired, and essentially compatibility consists of the absence of floccula-

tion and precipitation in the food. These undesirable effects result from colloidal interactions of charged mac-romolecular components of caramel with a particular food. Hence, the net ionic charge of the caramel color macro-molecules at the pH of the product in which it is used is a prime determinant of compatibility (1).

Caramel (CI Natural Brown 10, EEC No. E 150) is a brown colorant obtained by heating sugars. The official FDA definition is "The color additive caramel is the dark brown liquid or solid resulting from carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: dextrose, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof, or sucrose."

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