First: It was a part of my initial training. L. Strasburger, my mentor, and I tasted two ingredients every day. He managed to taste every approved ingredient once every two or three years, and every newly approved ingredient as they became available. He stressed that added flavor experience lets you see additional potential applications for any flavor ingredient.
Second: I’m convinced that it is a great training tool. When a tasting group has several senior flavorists and an assortment of technicians and apprentices, tasting every day gives everyone a chance to develop a common descriptive language and a great means to tap into the group’s flavor experience.
Third: I am always looking for some ingredient that is new and better and will impart a better flavor character for a lower cost. Today, with the emphasis on natural flavors, there has been an exceptional improvement in naturally derived fruit and botanical products and their essences, isolates and fractions. In addition, there has been continual improvement in production technology and processes that are used to produce natural products, enabling a greater fidelity, more intense flavor, usually for a lower cost. Since natural products are source-specific, it is necessary to evaluate several sources to find the best product.