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Caramelization

Caramelization. A thermal transformation of sugar, as occurs in the production of caramel color (q.v.) or during browning of the crust (q.v.) of bakery products during oven baking. It proceeds in a series of reactions that convert the sugar into complex compounds that vary in color from pale yellow to dark brown, and in taste from nearly tasteless to pleasant and eventually to acrid and bitter.