Flavour plays an important role in food and in life.
The flavour and taste of food is valuable in digestion – it stimulates salivary flow and acid digestion, and can influence the metabolism.
Not only must food offer a balanced and nutritionally adequate diet, it must be palatable and diverse. These aspects are largely a function of flavour. Thus flavourings are an essential constituent of human food.
The appreciation of flavour varies from region to region due partly to cultural and genetic differences and partly to the local availability of foods and food flavourings.
Most food, even in industrialised countries, is still freshly prepared and its flavour is either intrinsic or formed during cooking. However, in line with increasing demand, there is a growing range of industrially prepared foods. The addition of scientifically developed flavourings must compensate for the loss of flavour during processing.
Without flavourings many of our
would be greatly reduced.
Urbanisation and the modern way of life
have created a demand for snacks, soft drinks, desserts, confectionery and so on. These would be most uninteresting without the addition of flavourings.
Flavourings are highly concentrated mixtures of different ingredients combined together to create the desired flavour. The ingredients used include both natural and non-natural aromatic components.
Flavourings are used at extremely low dosages. They have such a strong impact on taste that “over dosing” would make the food inedible. Their use is therefore self-limiting.
The flavourist’s art of creating flavourings, by combining different substances in a way that meets the demands of the food manufacturer and the consumer, requires tremendous expertise and skills developed over many years of training.