Flavor Bites: Hexanoic Acid


In the March 2017 issue, I selected iso-butyric acid, an aliphatic acid that displays a subtle profile combining the cheesy note of butyric acid with the vinegary note of acetic acid—an attractive balance and useful in flavors. Hexanoic acid (FEMA# 2559, CAS# 142-62-1) also combines two different notes, but the effect, to me at least, is less than beguiling. Hexanoic acid has some of the cheesy profile of butyric acid, but also some of the goaty allure of octanoic acid. The effect is a little harsh and would seem to make this raw material more difficult to use outside the narrow realm of dairy flavors.

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