A Sprinkle of Trends and Ingredients at Flavorcon 2017: Day Two

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People smelling cinnamon

Attendees smelling blotters of cinnamon oil during Richard Pisano Jr.'s presentation.

Clean labels, naturals and other expressions are recognized as flavor-industry terms. These were some key points discussed during the ingredients, formulations and trends track at Flavorcon 2017. Day one covered both sweet and savory, while day two covered a variety of trends and ingredients.

Flavor within Nutritional Trends

Consumers are continuously looking for nutritious foods such as gluten-free or “free-from.” Chris Warsaw, corporate executive chef, manager Culinary Applications, Bell Flavors & Fragrances dove into this demand in his presentation, Balancing Flavor with Consumer Nutrition Trends.

The industry is seeing wellness on the rise and some key drivers Warsaw covered included sodium and sugar, hard-to-find ingredients, allergens and better-for-you trends. Warsaw’s job is to help make healthy food taste good, and the best way to do so is with flavors, he explained.

“I get to play with other peoples’ foods all day,” added Warsaw.

Warsaw also touched on a couple other terms and consumer favorites. He believes the next “gluten-free” type of trend to be on the lookout for is FODMAP, which stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disacchardies, monosacchardies and polyol. Additionally, he mentioned botanical extracts, specifically, elderflower, which can be utilized in nearly any and all cocktails.

Cinnamon and Cassia Conundrum

Richard Pisano Jr., president of Citrus and Allied Essences Ltd., mulled over cinnamon in his presentation, Cassia and Cinnamon Compendium. Cassia typically comes from China, Vietnam and Indonesia, while cinnamon stems from Sri Lanka.

“Cinnamon next to black pepper is probably the most popular spice used in the United States,” said Pisano.

What consumers don’t realize is when they are buying cinnamon or talking about it, they are more than likely purchasing or discussing cassia, said Pisano.

The speaker provided samples of oil cassia redistilled, cinnamon bark oil and oleoresin cinnamon in both oil blotters to smell and homemade sugar cookies to taste for comparisons.

Pisano reviewed the process of cinnamon production and mentioned how both cinnamon and nutmeg are spices that changed the course of history. He also shared insight on how while there are a lot of essential oils, cassia is not one of them.

The Clean Label Train

Meat and dairy are two categories where clean label plays a significant role. Carrie Schroeder, dairy sales and business development and Steve Zavagali, commercial director, Savory Flavors at Kerry presented Uncovering the Challenges in Meeting the Demand for Simple, Natural and Clean, Meat and Dairy Flavors.

Clean label is a growth and is visible in all walks of life as everyone is involved, explained Schroeder.

“Clean label is not a consumer term, it’s what we in the industry describe what people want,” she added.

Additionally, Schroeder mentioned how in 2016 alone, one in every 10 products was labeled organic. She provided a timeline to explain how label demands have changed as far back as the 80s to now. The main takeaway is for the industry to inform consumers.

Zavagali discussed how Whole Foods, as an example, has a list of unacceptable ingredients for food. How the industry delivers taste is key.

“Taste is always the number one driver in products,” said Zavagali. 


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Catered to professionals in the flavor and food supply chain, Flavorcon will take place on Nov. 11-12, 2019, at the Duke Energy Convention Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will feature:

  • A robust conference schedule; featuring discussions on plant-based proteins, clean label flavors, and the latest natural raw materials,
  • The Flavorcon Innovation Stage; featuring bite-sized education sessions from the show floor,
  • An exhibitor hall with over 50 flavor-related companies,
  • Numerous networking opportunities
  • And much more!

Register Now!