Natural Colour (INS 150c) is otherwise known as caramel colour. In the food industry, caramel colour is a water-soluble colouring that may vary from pale yellow to dark brown. It is formed by a process called caramelization (the process of breaking down sugar by heating it at high temperature, thus removing the water content. The sugar is then reformed into complex polymers, producing a sweet, nutty, or buttery flavor, which is golden-brown to dark brown in color). Natural Colour (INS 150c) are also called “ammonia caramel“ as they are created through the controlled heating of carbohydrate sources with ammonium compounds to produce colour bodies ranging from a light brown to dark red-brown. The most common source of obtaining them are sugar beet or sugar cane but sometimes maize starch is used. The main purpose of Natural Colour (INS 150c) is that it adds or restores the colour of a food and also lends a bitter taste. It has great stability in alcohol and salt medium hence it is used to give colour and flavor to a range of food products containing alcohol and salt.
Consuming foods containing Natural Colour (INS 150c) may cause high blood pressure, decreased immune function and cancer. It may cause allergies in some people too.(1)
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