Let’s Call in a Flavour

Peeling Back the Layers of Flavour Application
Let’s Call in a Flavour
By Robert Muir

We have started our exploration into the requirements when choosing a flavour. In Fortune Flavours the Brave, we looked at “Powder vs Liquid” and “Natural vs Synthetic” options. Let’s continue learning about the different choices that can be made when selecting a flavour.

Carrier Types

For flavours to be used at viable dosages, they often need to be extended onto a workable medium called a “carrier”. The solubility of the flavour concentrate and the final application are important factors to consider when selecting a carrier. For example, an orange flavour created from essentials oil will perform poorly in a water soluble carrier, such as water or PG. However, in MCT oil it would be extremely miscible. Another great example is flavoured water. If an oil soluble flavour is selected for use in flavoured water, separation will occur much like a mayonnaise that has split. Carriers often determine what kinds of claims can be made on a flavour.

Organic, Kosher and Halal

Customer requirements are an ever evolving presence in the food industry and it is important not to misrepresent or mislabel your final product. Three commonly sought after requirements are: Organic, Kosher and Halal. For the respective groups who seek out/require these labels it is of spiritual/moral importance that they only consume food items with the aforementioned labelling.

So as a general guideline, here are some restrictions with Organic, Kosher and Halal labelling within flavours:

Water is Organic, Kosher and Halal acceptable
Ethyl Alcohol is Organic, Kosher but not Halal acceptable
Propylene Glycol is Kosher, Halal but not Organic acceptable

As seen above, there are some restrictions on what labels a flavour can have. A flavour on Ethyl Alcohol (EA) can be listed as Organic but cannot be listed as Halal. Water appears to be the best carrier from a labelling point of view. However solubility issues with aromatic volatiles (refer to part 1) are often the reason water cannot be used as a flavour carrier. As a result (for water soluble liquid flavours), it is often the case that you will need to choose if you want your final product to be organic or Halal suitable as sometimes there is not an overlap.

Nutritional Labelling Requirements

Another important consideration to make when selecting a flavour is the nutritional labelling requirements required. Some consideration include: Vegan/vegetarian, allergen free, low carb, no sugar, no palm oil, GMO free. While many of them are fairly straight forward, others can come back to haunt us if they are not contemplated. Let’s create a no sugar, low carb, vegan protein powder. Quickly, we can identify that we need a vegan suitable powder flavour. However, the carrier of the flavour is often responsible for up to 95% of the nutritional content of the flavour! So your typical maltodextrin based flavour added at 5% into the protein powder would give approximately 4.76g of carbs and 0.855g of sugar per 100g!

Moral, religious and nutritional requirements need to be closely examined when selecting a flavour. However, the flavour profile is also extremely important! Let’s dive into the juicy topic of flavour profiles in the next article.