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Flavor Bites: Creating Great Flavors in Tough Times
By: John Wright
Posted: June 12, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of P&F magazine.
With the financial crisis biting deep into every sector of our economy, creation of economical flavors has become extremely challenging. In a totally logical world, flavors—the key driver of repeat purchases—would be “no expense spared” food ingredients. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which buyers are always trying to save money wherever they can, particularly in the area of flavor costs. Formulation of cheap flavors generally focuses on the use of cheap ingredients. Although that makes good business sense, it usually results in a flavor profile that could have been developed in the first half of the last century, as most cheap flavor ingredients are low-priced simply because they have been traded as commodities for a very long time. This type of profile could be accepted in some markets, but is probably not good enough for most. However, it would be equally unwise to completely forget all the old ingredients. Ethyl methyl phenyl glycidate (FEMA# 2444), for instance, can still be used in strawberry flavors, so long as it assumes a secondary role and is not overdone. Similarly, γ-undecalactone (FEMA# 3091) is by far the best value peach lactone.
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