Caramel color is a food additive used to create foods that look appetizing. It is made by heating a carbohydrate. The most common carbohydrates used to make caramel color are natural sweeteners from corn. This is especially true in North America. Caramel color can contain gluten, though. It depends on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: “the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.” It is always best to check with the manufacturer.