January 19, 2009

Flavoring Agents

Flavoring Agents
Flavoring agents are the largest single group of food additives. Food and beverage applications of flavors include dairy, fruit, nut, seafood, spice blends, vegetables and wine flavoring agents. They may complement, magnify, or modify the taste and aroma of the foods.

There are over 1200 different flavoring agents used in foods to create flavor or replenish flavors lost or diminished in processing, and hundreds of chemicals may be used to simulate nature flavors. Alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, protein hydrolysates and MSG are examples of flavoring agents.

Natural flavoring substances are extracted from plants, herbs and spices, animals, or microbial fermentations. They also include essential oils and oleoresins (created by solvent extract with solvent removed), herbs, spices and sweetness.

Synthetic flavoring agents are chemically similar to natural flavorings, and offer increased consistency in use and availability. They may be less expensive and more readily available than the natural counterpart although they may not adequately simulate the natural flavor.

Some examples of synthetic flavoring agents include amyl acetate, used as banana flavoring benzaldehyde, used to create cherry or almond flavor, ethyl butyrate for pineapple, methyl anthranilate for grape, methyl salicylate for wintergreen flavor, and fumaric acid, which is an ideal source of tartness and acidity in dry foods.

Flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) intensify or “bring out,” enhance or supplement the flavor of other compounds in food; they have a taste outside of the basic sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Monosodium glutamate was chemically derived from seaweed in the early 1900s, but is manufactured commercially by the fermentation of starch, molasses, or sugar.
Flavoring Agents

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