Flavor Bites: 2-Methyl pyrazine

Pork flavors are well served by 100 ppm of 2-methyl pyrazine.
Pork flavors are well served by 100 ppm of 2-methyl pyrazine.

Pyrazine notes are useful in a very wide range of flavors, most obviously where there is an intention to convey the effect of a heating process. The most effective dominant pyrazine will vary with the flavor type, but there is always room for a little of the sheer aggression of 2-methyl pyrazine (FEMA# 3309, CAS# 109-08-0). This bright and diffusive chemical is primarily roasted in character, with more than a hint of peanut. It can be used in conjunction with most other pyrazines but is especially effective when used with 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine and trimethyl pyrazine.

Note that the dose rates given throughout this article are the levels suggested for use in flavors intended to be dosed at 0.05% in ready-to-drink beverages or in a simple bouillon.

Meat Flavors

Bacon: One hundred ppm of 2-Methyl pyrazine lifts bacon flavors without accentuating burnt notes.

Roast beef: A much higher level, in the region of 400 ppm, is equally effective in roast beef flavors, accentuating the freshly roasted note.

Roast chicken: Roast chicken is in a more subtle category than roast beef. The ideal level of addition of 2-Methyl pyrazine varies, but 60 ppm is a reasonable starting point.

HamThe ideal level of addition also varies in ham flavors, depending on the style but 50 ppm works well.

LambHigher levels, around 400 ppm, can work in lamb flavors but, in my opinion, 100 ppm is more subtle and effective.

Pork: Pork flavors are also well served by 100 ppm of 2-Methyl pyrazine, with a noticeable enhancement of the freshly roasted character.

For the full article, please check out the Perfumer & Flavorist+ May 2021 issue.

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