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Caramel Colors for Meats


Sethness liquid and powdered Caramel Colors and Caramelized Sugar Syrups are used in a variety of meat applications including:

  • Meat rubs
  • Spice blends
  • Meat casings
  • Meat dips
  • Meat extenders/substitutes

Sethness Caramel Colors are useful in many meat applications – they can be used to provide the grill marks on prepared meats, and give a rich smokehouse effect to smoked meats. Sausages are more appealing when Caramel Colors are used in the sausage blends.

Caramel Color in Meat Rubs and Spice Blends

Both liquid and powdered Sethness Caramel Color can be used in meat rubs and spice blends. In some meat rub applications, Caramel Color is applied directly onto the exterior of the meat. Negatively-charged Caramel Colors tend to soak into the meat, while positively-charged Caramel Colors tend to stick to the exterior of the products.

Sethness powdered Caramel Colors help enhance the coloring in numerous meat spice blends. Processed meats all benefit from the rich red tones or robust dark browns of our heat-stable Caramel Colors. In choosing the best Caramel Color, considerations such as salt content and processing methods must be considered.

Caramel Color in Meat Casings and Meat Dips

Sethness Caramel Colors are also used in the processing and cooking process of meats in both food processing and food service applications. The meat casings that surround sausages benefit from the heat-stable and color consistency benefits of Caramel Colors.

Caramel Colors provide color in both cook-in-bag and meat dip or spray applications. They are used to achieve the halo/ring affect in roast beef, the smoked color in Black Forest hams, and the golden yellow color in chicken breast and turkey.

Caramel Color in Meat Extenders and Meat Substitutes

In Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) applications, both liquid and powdered Caramel Colors are commonly used. Historically, our Class IV DS 400 liquid Caramel Color has been the product of choice because of its excellent adherence qualities to the protein surface. In addition, this Class IV Caramel Color provides desirable, economical coloring characteristics.

As the market has grown for TVP applications, so have the Caramel Color usage levels. Occasionally this has created a concern for sulfite content in finished products. This trend has caused a shift in the market to our low sulfite Class III Liquid Caramel Color or low sulfite Powdered Caramel Color. Class III Caramel Colors are positively charged, which can cause the adherence characteristics to change. Like in any application, prior testing is critical to determine how each of these Sethness Caramel Colors will function in a specific formulation.

In Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) applications, it is not uncommon to see elevated salt levels. Consequently, low sulfite Class III, positively-charged liquid Caramel Colors are recommended.