Iced tea, whether concentrates for foodservice or ready-to-drink, often contains a negatively-charged caramel colour for stability with tannins. In Class IV, use either double strength for economy or DDW 108 for its red hue. DDW offers a caramelized apple (natural flavor) with stability in certain brewed and instant teas. Similarly, Class One “Plain” DDW 520 also works in some of these.
The most critical factors for caramel colour stability in tea are beverage pH, tannin and polyphenolic levels. RTD tea above pH 3 works especially well with Class IV caramel colour. Anthocyanins, such as black carrot, provide red hue in a variety of fruit flavored iced teas around pH 3. Natural beta-carotene provides yellow to orange hues in teas.
Oolong tea in China may contain Class IV caramel colour.
Powdered caramel colour may apply in spray dried coffee, 3 in 1, or cappuccino mix. A unique Class One “Plain” caramel colour, DDW 624, enhances both coffee flavor and reddish-brown hue.
Coffee blended with milk, an emerging trend, may contain natural colouring to identify flavor. Caramel Colour 520, a class one, mimics the appearance of refrigerated or iced coffee drinks.
Cocoa’s healthy traits and dark chocolate’s antioxidant properties have boosted the popularity of chocolate drinks among consumers.
Caramel colour serves as a cocoa extender due to its high colour intensity. It can reduce, but not eliminate, cocoa powder usage due to flavor considerations. A natural red colouring may combine with caramel colour to match the hue of Dutch (alkalized) cocoa.