One of the most interesting questions facing flavorists is how to best balance taste and aroma effects. Judged strictly on aroma, tetramethyl pyrazine (FEMA# 3237, CAS# 1124-11-4) does not seem to be an obvious winner. The odor is mild, distinctly roasted, but with a faint minty back note.
Factor in taste and the judgment changes. Even at modest levels, tetramethyl pyrazine adds depth to the roasted profile. It is unlikely to ever stand alone as a roasted note, but it makes the characters of other pyrazines, especially 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine and trimethyl pyrazine, decidedly more realistic in taste.
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.
To explore the entire article, visit Perfumer & Flavorist+’s May issue.