The Flavor Parables: Designing a Program to Train Flavorists

This article is about training flavorists in a successful manner. I presents some essential guidelinesI call them parables—to optimize the training that apprentices should receive to maximize their learning, and to maximize their long-term value to their company. This article is not meant to delineate specific flavor/perfumer raw materials, nor is it meant to focus the reader on specific keys, blends or finished flavors. Rather, it stays at the basic level so that the readers may design the best program for their owm needs and for their own companies.

Other articles written during the past two decades discuss the components of a training program. Some of these articles provide an overview of a flavor company’s training program. Some provide background on selection of candidates and their training, as presented through the Society of Flavor Chemists. Others provide day-to-day details of training. I refer the reader to these articles by some of the masters in our industry for this type and level of detail.

The Incentive to Train Master/apprentice training goes back thousands of years, providing a rich history from which to draw. For example, to quote the First Flavorist: The Lord said to Moses, “Take the flnest spices: 500 shekels of free-flowing myrrh; half that amount of fragrant cinnamon; 250 shekels of fragrant cane; 500 shekels of cassia; together with a hint of olive oil; and blend them into sacred anointing oil, perfumed ointment expertly prepared.” —Exodus 30:22-25

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