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Flavor Bites: Now Match This!

By: John Wright
Posted: July 9, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of P&F magazine.

A common belief is that advances in GC/MS analytical techniques have made flavor duplication quick and easy. The truth, however, is a little different: flavormatching is a frustrating exercise.

A common scenario runs something like this: an important matching project arrives with a huge potential, and a short deadline. The analytical staff quickly produces a reasonable (but not great) first analysis, leaving the unfortunate flavorist to go quietly mad trying to make an acceptable duplication. Despite a shortness of time for the analytical staff to recheck the flavorist’s work, a sensory panel must be involved to “validate” the match (and to spread the blame later on). Meanwhile, the customer who is initially enthusiastic, to everybody’s surprise, cools down inexplicably. This process simply cuts margins for the whole industry, and it is stopped in its tracks if the flavor cannot be matched.

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