The objective of this research was to develop and validate quantitative methods for Class III and Class IV caramels. For Class III caramel a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method that uses a specific 'marker peak' for quantification will be set up and optimised. The method will also be validated using 25-30 food samples and the reproducibility of the method assessed. For Class IV caramel, a method used in previous work will be optimised and initially validated for soft drinks.
The Colours in Food Regulations 1995 specify foods to which only certain colours may be added, and at what levels. For some additives, where maximum permitted levels are given a numeric value, intake by the population may be estimated without carrying out analysis of the foods. However, caramel colours may be added into certain foods quantum satis, and so surveillance of the actual levels present in foods must be carried out in order to estimate the intake of caramel colours by the population. This has not previously been possible due to lack of reliable methods for determining levels of caramel in foodstuffs.