Flavours are the chemical additions to a base product to offset the harsh tastes or odours from certain ingredients, by covering the “off” notes. Some common tastes that we attempt to rid are: bitterness, a metallic aftertaste and beany notes. These tastes are exerted from the different active ingredients which constitute a final product.
Each category of active ingredients inhibits a different taste.
Masking flavours is unknowingly performed on an everyday basis. The pairing of the flavour additive with the product is an intricate task, as most flavour profiles have complex mixtures of ingredients which interact with each other.
For different taste sensations, a general list of flavours has been associated with masking it.
Taste preference needs to be factored in when it comes to a target audience. For each age group, the flavour acceptance varies.
Aside from overcoming harsh tastes and odours, flavours can serve other purposes.
Indispensable – Adding taste where one does not exist
Characterisation – Giving a product an identity through taste and aroma
Compensation – Acts as a replacement for other ingredients or flavours, due to the fluctuating ingredient costs, natural ingredient availability and losses during the manufacturing process
Consistency – Maintaining the product profile during seasonal variation
Flavour Masking – a complete or partial reduction in intensity of a sensation as a function of other stimuli or sensations that are present at the same time.
Flavours are EASY – there is no one ingredient that can do everything. Creating a quality product tasks a complex formulation.
More is BETTER – strong flavours are an immediate fix, however entail a lingering off-aftertaste.
Over-flavouring will only cause distaste.
The synergy of ingredients – too many ingredients in a product will exhibit a serious off taste, which will require an exceptional masking agent.
Flavour profiles are TRANSFERRABLE – existing flavour profiles may not be compatible with new formulations.
There is a BEST flavour – there is not one flavour that is the best.
Flavours will last FOREVER – flavours will dissipate over time. Oxidation and protein breakdowns will affect the way the final product tastes.
Author: Jessica Ta