Esarom Senior Flavorist Isolde Tomann Shares Industry Journey & Project Wins

Esarom Tomann Isolde
courtesy of Esarom

Name: Isolde Tomann

Title: Dipl. Ing./ Senior Flavorist/ Head of the Flavor Creation at esarom

Hometown: Korneuburg, Austria

Current location: Korneuburg, Austria

What led you to the flavor industry?

Isolde Tomann [IT]: During my studies in Food and Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, I did an internship at Esarom in Lower Austria. I became a trainee at the Department of Quality Assurance: I had not only to measure the physical parameters of flavors and compounds but also to taste them – a task that I found very interesting. However, at the beginning, it was not easy for me to describe particular differences in tastes and flavors.

In addition to that, I got to know a very mysterious person working in a lab right next door. He was responsible for the flavor creation but never spoke a word with anybody! He just disappeared in his lab and wrote down his secret formulations. I was fascinated!

After finishing my studies it became clear to me that I was going to focus on food technology. By chance, I found a position in a flavor company in Santiago, Chile. Even though South America’s flavor industry is booming – my roots are and always will be in Austria. I’m therefore proud of being head of the Flavor Creation team since 2011 at esarom.

Read this article in the March 2024 issue!

What is your first scent memory?

IT: My first scent memory is related to the “Au,” a wild forest at the river banks of the Danube. I still fancy that musty, damp smell, that is accompanied by a strong smell of garlic in spring – when wood garlic is blooming.

What applications do you primarily formulate for? Do you have a favorite?

IT: The main focus area of my new flavor creations is the soft drink industry. But energy drinks are actually my favorites and I enjoy dedicating myself to creating new and innovative taste experiences in my flavor lab.

Looking back to 1994 I already formulated special editions for this category thenthat was long before the current trend of limited editions in the energy drink sector started.

Are there any recent projects/wins you’re particularly proud of?

IT: I remember a special limited edition of an energy drink which was an intense projectwhich I found some time ago in a shop at a petrol station in Manaus – in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

Describe yourself in three ingredients.

IT: 1. Turpentine oil: The smell in my studio, when I dedicate myself to painting with oil colors.

2. d-and l-carvone: Standing for the two important attributes of a flavorist: be creative and make marketable formulations.

3. Galbanum oil: This essential oil comes close to my first smell memories.

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