Is 150a vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, ‘Is 150a vegan?’ and will discuss the safety concerns of 150a.

Is 150a vegan?

Yes, 150a is vegan. Carbohydrates are heated at a certain temperature and time to produce a dark-brown liquid or solid product. Carbohydrate to produce 150a is obtained sloley from plant sources, so it is vegan.

E150 is the European food additive number for caramel color, often known as caramel coloring. It is one of the oldest and most widely used food and beverage colorings. When added to food, it may produce a rainbow of hues, ranging from a light yellow to an amber brown. 

What is Caramel Color made up of, exactly?

Polysaccharides and reactants are two of the basic components needed to produce this hue.

·         Different sources of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are found in food-grade nutritive sweeteners, such as glucose syrups, sucrose, and/or invert syrups, and dextrose.

·         Reactants

Acids, alkalis, salts, ammonium, and sulfite are among the authorized reactants that are used to enhance caramelization.

Varieties of caramel color

There are four distinct kinds of food additives that have been categorized by the FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) based on the various reactants (catalysts) used in the production process.

First-class: E150a.

It does not include ammonium or sulfuric acid. Caramel color is sometimes known as caustic or simple caramel.

Second class: E150b

No ammonium in the reaction. Caustic sulphite caramel is also known as caustic sulfite. Sodium sulfite, potassium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, and sulfurous acid are the only ammonium compounds employed in the sulfite compounds.

Third class: E150c

Sulfite is absent from the ammonium reactant. Ammonia caramel is another name for it. There are no sulfite compounds utilized when ammonium compounds (ammonium hydroxide, ammonium carbonate, ammonium hydrogen carbonate) are present.

Fourth class: E150d

A mixture of sulfite and ammonia as a sulfite ammonia caramel, it is also known as Sulfite and ammonium compounds are present.

 Caramel Color’s ingredients

Caramel color is a combination because caramelization is a complicated and poorly understood process that creates hundreds of chemical compounds.

Cooking causes sugar to caramelize, resulting in a darker color. Temperature and type of carbohydrate influence the degree of incomplete decomposition, dehydration, and polymerization that occurs throughout the process.

At 160°C, sucrose breaks down into glucose and fructan. When the temperature rises over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the isotope may be polymerized into a caramel alkane (C24H36O18)n and a caramel olefin (C36H50O25).

After caramelization, the final product is a combination of the dehydrated polymers mentioned.



Solids or liquids have a burned sugar odor that is dark brown to black.

Strength of color

Caramel color is described by its color intensity or tinctorial powder.

It is defined as the absorbance of a 0.1 percent weight/volume solution measured at 560 nanometers using a high-quality spectrophotometer, which is a 1 cm light path through the solution. The deeper the Caramel Color, the greater the Tinctorial Power, K0.560.

Color intensity

The absorbance of a 0.1 percent (w/v) solution of caramel color solids in water at 610 nm is characterized as color intensity.

The color index

Caramel color may be measured in terms of its hue index. It is determined by the absorbance at 510 and 610-nanometer wavelengths. An increase in this indicator indicates that the caramel hue is becoming more reddish in appearance.

·         Yellow to red-brown tones make up the majority of Class I.

·         From extremely yellow to dark red-brown colors are included in Class II.

·         Light browns to dark red-browns make up Class III.

·         In this class IV, the color ranges from light brown to black.

Charged Ions

A caramel hue may have positive, negative, or neutral ionic (electrochemical) colloidal charges depending on the production procedure. Negatively charged caramel color accounts for the majority of the color ingested today. The ionic charge is the most common factor in the application.


Powdered and liquid forms are both water-soluble. A paste or emulsion is formed as a consequence of dispersing in an oil system.

Whether caramel color is safe to consume?

Yes, the FDA, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and other agencies have confirmed its safety as a food additive.


Good manufacturing practices are required to ensure that it is safe to use.


According to the European Union’s Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives, EFSA caramel colors are permitted as food additives in compliance with Annex II and Annex III. 

Reassessment in 2011 of safety

E 150c (Class III Ammonia Caramel) has an individual ADI (acceptable daily intake) of 100 mg/kg BW/day due to the immunotoxicity of one of its constituents, which was established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2011 following a study on genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and other factors.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, ‘Is 150a vegan?’ and discussed the safety concerns of 150a.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.