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Building Smart: a Formula for Success

Posted: March 17, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of P&F magazine.

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4 pages available as a PDF download or printed copies mailed to you

“I equate making a flavor to painting a picture or creating a symphony,” says Kujawski. “You’re building something. There was a [time] when someone could simply blend a couple flavors together.” No more.

On a recent visit to IFF’s Dayton, New Jersey campus, P&F magazine received an inside look at how flavorists and flavor companies are creating successful flavors and meeting deadlines with a blend of skill and evolving technologies. Kujawski calls this process building smart. From selecting raw materials to compounding to trials to the store shelf, flavorists need to consider every detail and adjust according to the varied projects that come their way.

Cost and Time Efficiencies

“When a brief comes in,” says Kujawski, “we can look at our existing global [flavor] library. The whole industry has their top collection of best flavors for certain applications. If you [the customer] want it today, you can have it really quickly.” A good flavor library, he says, can address the specific needs of various applications.

But because flavors behave differently depending on the base, modifications are typical. “The application is going to change the flavor somewhat depending on the processing,” says Kujawski. “In the base, your flavor may come out a little greener than you really want, so you may go back and modify that very quickly to get it out,” he says, which means that good flavor libraries still require good flavorists.

Kujawski’s thoughts on compounding minutiae, for example, are typical of his fine-tuned outlook: “There’s no reason someone in a plant should have to move a drum three times because the same ingredient is in three different things.” It’s all about the details. “We’re doing [our work within] a commercial and consumer guideline, especially on cost,” says Kujawski. “Like every other supplier in the world, our customers need us to be more cost-effective One way we can do this is by judicious use of ingredients, and a good flavorist can make a great flavor with fewer materials.”

Other topics discussed: The Challenge of Nutritional Additives and Energy Drinks; The Role of Serendipity in Creative Innovation; Hitting Customer Targets; Exploiting New Technologies; Flavor Outlook: Novel Profiles and Applications; Raw Material Discussion

This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine, but you can purchase the full-text version.