There are two simple reasons that caramel color has been approved for use worldwide: It works. And it’s safe.

What’s more, leading public health organizations and regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), Codex Alimentarius, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Health Canada all agree.

In this section, you can learn more about caramel color from both a research and regulatory perspective.

Should You Worry About Caramel Color As A Health Risk?

Some consumer advocacy groups have raised concerns about 4-MeI, a chemical compound that’s formed when certain caramel colors are manufactured for products like cola drinks. A chemical reaction occurs during heating. 4-MeI also forms in other foods and beverages during normal cooking—such as when coffee beans are roasted or bread and baked goods are baked.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have both stated that they do not believe there is any immediate or short-term danger presented by 4-MeI at the levels expected in food from caramel color. In other words, the everyday consumption of caramel color is not a health concern.

Regulators, as well as commercial food and color manufacturers, continue their efforts to understand and control 4-MeI. In the interim, the FDA is not recommending that consumers change their diets because of concerns about 4-MeI. To learn more, visit and search for “caramel color.”

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