At the recent Society of Flavor Chemists (SFC) meeting in Newark, NJ, Gerard Mosciano discussed one of the biggest forces shaping contemporary flavor creation: the rise of naturals. From natural botanicals to extracts, the specificity of these raw materials, depending on supplier, has grown, making descriptive analysis more important than ever. In an environment in which two identically named materials may have significantly varied olfactive and organoleptic properties, exacting language is precious.
To that end, Mosciano discussed his Flavor Library (www.perfumerflavorist.com/mosciano) and how it illustrates the need for clear language. For instance, if one is looking for a material with a lemon nuance to the organoleptic profile, the number of results that pop up is 43 (total possible records: over 2,000). If one goes back to the search and specifies for a lemon taste profile coupled with a floral odor description, the results narrow to 19 materials. If one takes those criteria and specifies for a natural material, the results shrink to eight. And so on. Thus, the more clear and nuanced one’s descriptors become, the stronger the results.
Next, Lou Cooperhouse discussed Rutgers’ Food Innovation Center’s (http://foodinnovation.rutgers.edu) mission, which is to provide research, resources for “business incubation” and general information/guidance to businesses. Cooperhouse outlined the opportunities for startup and existing small and mid-sized food companies, pointing out that flavor is the key “criterion for repeat purchase.” The services the Food Innovation Center offers include: business feasibility analysis, infrastructure assessment, marketing and product safety, cost and quality optimization, and more.
The evening’s dinner speaker was FEMA’s Sean Taylor who discussed the FEMA GRAS process and the Expert Panel’s relationship with the flavor industry.
In addition to speakers, the SFC appointed several new members, including Liisa Kovach (Firmenich), Dave Wolfenberger (Moore Ingredients), Laura Partida (Flavorchem) and Cynthia Chambers (McCormick).