Functionalized flavors are the flavor systemsin which the carriers or other delivery vehicles retain, enhance, amplify, release or protect flavor (character) until consumed in products. In many cases the carrier or delivery system becomes of equalor greater importance relative to the flavor. As technical sophistication regarding these functional delivery agents increases, their use becomes more important. An earlier discussion of functionalized flavors focused on someunique carrier systems and flavor chemicals.
This article will characterize several functionalized flavor systems in the context of solving specific product requirements. Increasingly, current market dynamics drive requests from food, nutrition and personal care clients for flavors with control release properties, thermal resistance in heated environments, additional oxidative stabilization in terpene-based and other essential oils, reduced costs, and masking of specific off-flavor notes.
Commercial encapsulation technologies are the starting point for flavor functionalization. There are a number of excellent reviews, technical publications and symposia reports available, but they supply only general descriptions about the use of these flavor delivery technologies. Detailed information regarding subtle carrier interactions with flavor systems, critical phase manipulations and practical commercialization issues are relatively nonexistent because of their proprietary nature.