Saturday, April 23, 2011

Caramel coloring - Safe or not?

Greetings to everyone,

A few weeks ago, there was news that caramel coloring had cancer causing chemicals in it. Is this true? Are there different kinds of caramel coloring? Are there safe kinds of caramel coloring? Lets take a look at this controversial topic.

There is Caramel coloring 3 which is used in Soy Sauce, Teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, etc. Caramel coloring 4 is used in sodas. Many of us have made caramel coloring by melting sugar in a pan on our stove tops. My grandmother did that many times when she was making pop corn balls.

We're going to examine specifically Caramel coloring 4. It is the process in which this coloring is made that makes it carcinogenic.

"Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.

The National Toxicology Program, the division of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that conducted the animal studies, said that there is “clear evidence” that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens. Chemicals that cause cancer in animals are considered to pose cancer threats to humans. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola.

Federal regulations distinguish among four types of caramel coloring, two of which are produced with ammonia and two without it. CSPI wants the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the two made with ammonia. The type used in colas and other dark soft drinks is known as Caramel IV, or ammonia sulfite process caramel. Caramel III, which is produced with ammonia but not sulfites, is sometimes used in beer, soy sauce, and other foods."


The caramel coloring that is used in sauces, is caramel coloring #3. This coloring is ok. I'm very happy about this since I use sauces in a lot of the dishes that I cook.

I know that the manufacturers of Coke, Pepsi & the others who use caramel coloring are going to say that their coloring is just fine. Of course, they are going to say that just to keep their sales up. Changing their manufacturing process would cost thousands if not millions of dollars. This would put a dent in their profit margin & in this economy, they wouldn't want to happen. There are natural alternatives to coloring such as beets, carrots or even a grandmothers recipe for making caramel on the stove top.

A surprise that I came across when I was doing research for this article was that caramel colorings 1 & 3 may have gluten in them. Some people are allergic to gluten. Here is a link to those ingredients.,+teriyaki+sauce,+browning+sauce&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiTPA9eRXHnNHQorLv9CxaZF7LXWc1CkI0tkiT8mTgDTQO8QD-sdQoOtlpX6FXAZVWjNn7d_U1YipJcGcUkUZgVV9Z9qSZxw307yovM0Paw0Dzbho3LyDdXPiBcvtbOHHObZ1o7&sig=AHIEtbTGpGikGTGxWUMK51ss66jVF9C52w&pli=1

Many parents who have autistic children give their children a gluten free diet in hopes of helping them improve their behavior. There are many parents that swear by this. Personally I can't say either way since I don't have any experience with autism. I feel for those parents who do have children that have this disability.

If you wanted an excuse to quit drinking pop, specifically the kind that has caramel coloring to it, this is the one to use. I know that I'm going to have to change my habits. There are some days that I work anywhere from 8-15 hours per day. I need a little pick me up, like caffeine to keep going. I usually get a Pepsi but no more. I'll have to find a alternative OR give up caffeine completely & put in less hours working both at my job & around the house. :)

Until next week my friends, stay safe & well,


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