Saturday, November 06, 2010

What's In A Flavor? what may be some kashrus issues?

What's In A Flavor?

When manufacturing a flavor there will be the unwanted aroma etc. caused by the chemical reaction. How does the flavor scientist circumvent the problem? Most flavors are synthetic, there are over two thousand flavors in use & only five hundred are natural. The various chemicals used in a flavor are made in (PPM) parts per million.

Some of the common chemicals used in flavor manufacturing are; Amyl acetate, benzaldehyde, carvone, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, and methyl salicylate among the many others. Each aroma chemical contributes to the success of the ultimate flavor.

The big concern is some chemicals tend to react when put together with another chemical, leaving a completely different flavor than originally intended. Suppose we put together some seven chemicals that should give us a specific flavor, the reaction may cause us to be left with only four chemicals. It can also make a difference in what order the combine the chemicals, the reaction will be different.

The end result is an unwanted taste caused by the new compounds created when several of the aroma chemicals react with each other. In order to avoid the bad or off flavor and have a rejected product, the chemist must take into account all possible hazards to the end flavor reaction.

The method to have a successful flavor product, the chemist would have to analyze all of the different reactions the combination of chemicals can have. Sometimes two or three of the chemicals will not cause an adverse reaction till we combine the fourth chemical.

It is not only the aroma that would be a concern; taste and appearance are also a great concern. The first signs that something undesirable may be happening is the chemicals are heating up, smoking, changing color or thickening-all indications that a chemical reaction has taken place. We must be cognizant that at times the only way to produce the desired flavor would be with just that chemical reaction. The flavor may be perfect in the laboratory, but when we combine it with the end product we may have an adverse chemical reaction, which would make it, not production friendly.

It is not necessarily the combining of the product that may cause the problem sometimes it is simply the temperature of the product during production, or the stability of the combination. Flavors are not necessarily all natural or all chemical, they are very often a combination. There are natural acids that are used. Essential oils, such as oil of lemon and oil of orange, are natural flavors made by extraction of the fruit rind. There are also fruit juices and plant extracts that are commonly used in developing a flavor. There are flavor enhancers, the commonest being monosodium glutamate (MSG) and maltol.

Flavors may use common equipment that was used for non kosher flavors, e.g. beef, chicken flavors. They may also use spray dryers, etc

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