Gmp Gmp Gmp Gmp Gmp Gmp Gmp Gmp

5000 mg/kg GMP

GMP = good manufacturing practices. Source: Adapted from JECFA (2001).24

is formed in the surface, the a-ASM is attracted, and a hydrolysis process is favored; consequently, the sweetening agent is degraded. As can be expected, this process must be considered in the production of cola beverages because the caramel concentrations mentioned above are commonly used in these soft drinks.36

3. Caramel Characterization and Studies of Authenticity

In the United States, fruit juice adulteration is estimated to be worth at least a billion dollars per year. Thus, it is important to have methodologies to detect adulterations, and simple tests have been developed to characterize caramels.30 However, the detection of caramel as an adulterant is a challenge, because the caramelization process may occur during the normal processing of sugary foods such as juices; new methodologies have been implemented to solve this problem. A ion-pair highperformance liquid chromatographic method has been introduced to identify the addition of class III caramel to different food materials, such as beers, biscuits, gravy powders, savory spreads, and bakery goods; the limit of detection is 0.1 g/L for beers and 0.3 g/kg for solid foods.37 The caramel content of soft drinks has been studied by capillary electrophoresis. The implemented method uses a carbonate buffer. In the electrograms of class IV caramel is observed a large broad peak that corresponds to the colored species. This broadness is probably associated with macromolecular polydisperse components that have a similar charge-to-size ratio, which means that high-molecular-weight melanoidins (>3000 Da) migrate as a broad peak. Moreover, the migration time is related to the content of sulfur in the analyzed caramel. On the other hand, sharp peaks have also been observed, and correspond to low-molecular-weight (<1000 Da) Maillard reaction products. The described procedure may be used with less than 5% uncertainty in the caramel determination of soft drinks. In particular, it is reported that the caramel content of cola drinks is in a narrow range, suggesting that manufacturers strive to produce a similar beverage. Additionally, in noncola drinks the amount of caramel varies much more between manufacturers, indicating the tendency to have more distinctive products.38

The acerola fruit has a high content of vitamin C and is usually used to make enriched juices, the final product reaching a high price. However, it has been detected that some manufacturers have employed caramel color to imitate the juices of acerola fruits. The compounds used as markers are 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (5-HMF), which is present in all four classes of caramel; 4-MeI present in class III and IV; and 2-acetyl-4(5)-tetrahydroxybutylimidazole (THI) present only in class III. Two HPLC analyses are carried out, one to determine 4-MeI and the other to determine 5-HMF and THI.

2-acetyl-4(5)-tetrahydroxybutylimidazole 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde 4-methylimidazole

The analysis of adulterated juices may show products with varying vitamin C content, the ratio of glucose to fructose does not correspond with authentic acerola, and the coloring of the adulterated product may be similar to caramel coloring. Particularly, the peaks of the marker compounds are considered strong evidence of adulteration, as it is difficult to argue that the three components have all been formed due to in-process caramelization.39

Another interesting avenue of research of authenticity is related to whiskey. In the market it is possible to find two whisky presentations. The first is straight whiskey, which is a product aged in a freshly charred oak barrel for a minimum of 2 years and not colored with added caramel. On the other hand, the addition of caramel is permitted in blended whiskey, which is prepared by mixing straight whiskey with neutral spirits. The addition of caramel color to blended whiskey is to compensate for the loss of color due to addition of the colorless neutral spirits. The most common caramels used in this industry are from classes II and IV. As can be expected, it is necessary to evaluate the authenticity of whiskey and a simple color measurement is not enough; consequently, to reach this evaluation, HPLC analyses are used to evaluate the 5-HMF that proceeds from caramel. Moreover, oak material contains aldopentoses and hexoses, which in the aging process produce furfural (FF) and 5-HMF. Thus, whiskey aged in oak barrels contains small amounts of FF and 5-HMF, and the ratio of these components is used as an indicator of straight whiskey authenticity. Straight whiskey has FF/5-HMF ratios ranging from 2:1 to 2.6:1, whereas in blended whiskey they range from 0.2 to 1.3. This method can be used as an effective tool for investigating the authenticity of whiskey products.40

2-acetyl-4(5)-tetrahydroxybutylimidazole 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde 4-methylimidazole

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