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A Tale of Four Demos: The Process Flavorist’s Evolving Toolbox

Contact Author By Douglas Young; reported by Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
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This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.

Read more presentations and find photos of the event here.

What ingredients are acceptable to the consumer and which are not? Designing around such specifications—as much as is practical—is crucial for today’s flavorists. “This is something that our customers are struggling with just as much as we are,” said flavorist Douglas Young (Symrise) during his presentation at the 2009 Flavor Symposium. To illustrate, he presented four demo formulas that highlighted traditional process flavors and those that reflected various contemporary ingredient restrictions spurred by a desire for natural, GMO-free, vegetarian, and/or low-sodium products and label claims.

Young noted that the question of all-natural has come up more and more in recent years, adding that the US Department of Agriculture is currently working on a potential definition. Meanwhile, customers such as Whole Foods have already created their own definitions specifying what they do not want to see on product labels (www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values). Some of these specs call for no preservatives, colorings or artificial flavorings, and minimal processing. On this last point, Young pointed out that much of the “processing” that goes into his work isn’t much more extravagant than, say, the preparation of a can of soup.

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