Flavorcon Highlights: Unusual Flavor Ingredients, Biotech and More

More than 350 attendees from the flavor and consumer product industries gained technical and sensory insights during the debut of Flavorcon, which was presented by Perfumer & Flavorist and held at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Nov. 18-19, 2013. After P&F’s Editor in Chief, Jeb Gleason-Allured, officially welcomed the attendees and guest speakers, the first session of the two-day conference began with an interactive tasting panel on new and unusual flavor ingredients.

“Flavor Bites” Brought to Life

John Wright, author of P&F’s “Flavor Bites” column, offered strategies for flavorists, such as the benefits of working in boxes of product category groups, flavor types and specific geographical markets, as well as radical innovation. He illustrated entrepreneurial methodology, notably his flavor-oriented version of “pirate” solutions, which is a nod to Steve Job’s methodology at Apple Inc. True to its name, the session also included an evaluation of a number of flavor ingredients on blotters, including rose oxide, nerol oxide, dec-9-en-2-one, cis-6-nonenol and 2,5-dimethyl-6,7-dihydro-5H-cyclopentapyrazine.

Flavor Delivery

Robert Sobel, vice president of research, quality and innovation at FONA, talked about the merits of flavor encapsulation, which was defined as the process of enclosing a flavoring ingredient within a layer of coating or a shell by chemical or physical processes. Encapsulation’s benefits included flavor retention, staving off flavor degradation and enhanced product performance. Sobel, in offering examples of commercial applications that use microencapsulated flavor, spoke about an ice cream that changes its flavor profile from vanilla to cherry as it is consumed. The application uses a lipid-encapsulated cherry flavor that releases when exposed to body heat. Sobel also talked about flavorchanging chewing gum and how one can use different forms of microencapsulation to vary flavor release. He also noted the most common flavor change occurs between contrasting flavors such as berry and mint. For instance, he discussed Dentyne Ice Cool Frosta with its alternating burst of sweetness (aspartame) and a cooling sensation (polypols) and mint flavor.

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