Caramel Colors for Beverages

With any beverage application Caramel Color is used for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost it is to provide “eye appeal”. People eat and drink with their eyes, with color often the first attribute to influence expectations of appetite, flavors, and even mouthfeel.

SETHNESS ROQUETTE liquid Caramel Colors, Class I Caramelized Sugar Syrups and powdered Caramel Colors are used in a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage applications including:

  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Teas
  • Lemonades
  • Fruit drinks
  • Powdered drink mixes

Caramel Color in Carbonated Soft Drinks

Caramel color is the most widely used colorant in the soft drink industry, and it is surprisingly a very important flavoring agent that has helped “trick” the mind when it comes to taste. Because of the low pH of most carbonated beverages, SETHNESS ROQUETTE Class IV Caramel Colors are commonly used because of their acid stability. In addition to providing excellent reddish to brown hues, Caramel Color can enhance the foaming characteristics, mouthfeel, and flavor of soft drinks.

In soft drink concentrates, Caramel Color has an emulsifying effect with flavor oils, and helps to eliminate the formation of certain types of “floc”. The light protective quality of Caramel Color also assists in preventing oxidation of the flavoring components in bottled beverages. SETHNESS ROQUETTE Caramel Colors are also very stable in various processing and packaging conditions.

Caramel color also helps protect colors in clear bottles from deterioration from sunlight and, while sugar and gums provide most of this function, caramel color with its specific gravity contributes to the mouthfeel of finished products.

Beverage manufacturers sometimes use the terms “single strength” and “double strength”. These terms describe the relative color strength of Caramel Color and may cover different ranges of color. Double strength Caramel Color (SETHNESS ROQUETTE DSL4) was originally developed for use in dietetic beverages. The goal was to reduce the caloric content contributed by the Caramel Color to about 25% of that contributed by a single strength color (SETHNESS ROQUETTE S190). However, double strength Caramel Color also offers greater cost efficiency, which has contributed to its rapid acceptance.

Recently many carbonated soft drink users have switched to SETHNESS ROQUETTE DSL4 Low 4-MeI liquid Caramel Color in order to comply with Prop 65 in California.

Class I Caramel Colors may not work in any colas containing phosphoric acid, but can potentially be utilized in beverages containing citric acid.

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