Interest in class one colors has increased in recent years as food and beverage manufacturers have sought ‘clean label’ ingredients. JECFA, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, recognizes four different classes of caramel color – class one does not allow the use of ammonium or sulfite compounds in production. Achieving desired colors without these compounds has proved challenging for color companies, as ammonium and sulfites help produce the darkest caramel colors.
Sethness said that its new liquid class one caramel color, known as PS119, has taken three years to develop.
Sales and marketing manager at the company Brian Sethness told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “This product is 15 percent darker than what was our darkest class one at the time. Typical class one colors are yellow to red in color, and this product offers red and brown tones.”
In addition, Sethness said that using the new caramel color could cut costs for its customers, as they would need to use less of it than other caramel colors in its product range.
“The beauty of this caramel color is that it will work in a variety of applications,” Sethness said. “The companies that have expressed immediate interest in samples are tea producers, who prefer class one caramel colors. In addition, any company who sells to Whole Foods [or] Trader Joes can use this color as those supermarkets insist on class one colors. It is also being tested by numerous sauce companies.”
He added that PS119 has been developed to have a mild taste, superior citric acid stability, salt solubility in sauces, and stability in alcohol applications up to 60 percent ABV.
Sethness said the company expects strong sales to companies that produce premium soy sauces, oyster sauces and fish sauces that require a class one caramel color that works with 20 percent salt.
In the United States, it would be labeled on ingredient lists as 'caramel color' or 'caramel'.