Caramelization is a chemical process that occurs when sugar molecules are heated to a certain point, resulting in the transformation of sugars into complex, rich compounds with a deep brown color and distinctive flavor. This reaction takes place when sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, or fructose, break down under the influence of heat. As the sugar molecules decompose, they undergo a series of complex chemical reactions, producing a range of aromatic compounds that contribute to the characteristic flavor and color changes. Caramelization is responsible for the appealing golden-brown hue and the sweet, nutty, and toasty notes in various cooked and baked foods, including caramel sauces, toasted bread, roasted vegetables, and seared meats.