The company announced last week that the new ingredient – which can be used as colouring or a flavouring – is being launched in the US and expects it to be particularly attractive to North American beverage manufacturers that export to the European Union. Now it says it is making it available to European companies too.
JECFA, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, recognizes four different classes of caramel colour – class one does not allow the use of ammonium or sulfite compounds in production.
Campbell Barnum, vice president of branding and market development at DD Williamson, told FoodNavigator-USA.com that standard class one caramels are stable at a pH of 4.5 to 5, so reaching acid stability below 2.5 is a significant achievement. It provides beverage manufacturers with the option of a dark class one caramel colour that can be used in carbonated drinks like cola, cream soda or root beer.
It also provides stability in alcoholic beverages with up to 65 percent alcohol by volume, the company said.
“We have seen an increase in demand for class one caramel colour for ‘natural’ foods, and consumer preference for cleaner labels,” Barnum said, adding that the new Caramel Colour 520 is ‘naturally derived’.
“Class one caramels are not generally stable in acid but this one is,” he explained. “It also happens to be the darkest one that we have developed.”
Colour or flavour
DD Williamson’s latest addition to its colour range is a class one caramel colour that can be labelled in Europe as ‘colour plain caramel’ or ‘burnt sugar’ depending on whether its presence is primarily as a colour or a flavouring.
The European Technical Caramel Association, chaired by D.D. Williamson’s Barry Foley, agreed on ‘decision-tree’ labelling of Burnt Sugar in November 2009.