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BSF Flavor Course: Tomorrow's Flavorists

Posted: January 9, 2007

Each year, the British Society of Flavourists holds a training course for beginning flavorists, teaching them about the basic raw materials and then allowing them to make their own flavors. Here, Jack Knights (professor of the training course and BSF honorary treasurer) recaps the 2006 training course and gives details for the 2007 incarnation.

The fourth British Society of Flavourists training course for potential creative flavorists was held in 2006 at the University of Reading, School of Biosciences, in conjunction with the University. The course duration was three weeks and was attended by eight trainee flavorists from the United Kingdom, Holland, the United States, Russia and Slovenia.

The emphasis in the first five days was on tasting, smelling and getting to know and recognize the utility of approximately 100 nature-identical raw materials of importance in flavor creation. This was intended to provide a methodology for the evaluation of any new raw material that the trainees might encounter in the future. The trainees were required to use the knowledge gained during this process to create simple flavorings. In addition, lectures were provided on flavor chemistry, biochemistry and analysis.

The emphasis in week two was on natural raw materials, including essential oils, oleoresins and other extracts of importance to the industry. Again, the practical use of these materials in flavor creation, particularly in conjunction with nature-identical raw materials, was emphasized. During this second week there also was a visit to, and a presentation by, a flavor company specializing in the cultivation and manufacture of English essential oils and extracts. This visit included a review of different methods of physical extraction of vegetable source materials, including steam distillation, high-vacuum distillation, vacuum fractionation and liquid and supercritical CO2 extraction. A factory tour followed to demonstrate these techniques being used.

For the first time this year, two days in the program were devoted to the creation, production and evaluation of modern savory flavors. This proved to be of outstanding interest to the trainees and will be incorporated in the 2007 course.