Saturday, November 06, 2021

Process of caramelization

Caramelization is what happens when any sugar is heated to the point that the molecules undergo chemical reactions with oxygen in the air and with each other – the molecules either break apart into smaller molecules, or combine with one another to make larger molecules. The result is a very complex, brown colored mixture that normally call caramel.

Caramelization occurs in food, when food surfaces are heated strongly, e.g. the baking and roasting processes, the processing of foods with high sugar content such as jams and certain fruit juices, or in wine production.

Sugar is caramelized when it is melted into a clear golden to dark brown syrup, reaching a temperature from 320 to 356 degrees F. It goes through many stages which are determined by the recipe being made.

At 338 degrees F, the sugar syrup begins to caramelize creating an intense flavor and rich color, from light and clear to dark brown. Depending upon when the cooking stops and it cools and hardens, caramel textures can range from soft to brittle. A soft caramel is a candy made with caramelized sugar, butter and milk. Crushed caramel is used as a topping for ice cream and other desserts.

The large brown molecules (caramelin, caramelen and caramelan) are what give caramel its color, its viscosity and its stickiness. The aroma molecules give caramel its flavor.

Caramel colors, i.e. ammonia caramel, ammonia sulphite caramel, and caustic caramel are the most widely used food additives and are found as coloring agents in a wide range of foods and beverages.
Process of caramelization 

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