If you want to sell food products, you are going to need food-grade flavors and fragrances. As Eric Schlosser noted in his book Fast Food Nation
, the look of a food product convinces a consumer to purchase it, but the taste is what convinces them to purchase it again
. If you want people to buy your food products repeatedly, you must make sure they taste and smell as good as they can.
Any compounds added to food in order to enhance its flavor and aroma (except salt or sugar) are considered food-grade flavors and fragrances. That means that if you have a food product, you are probably already using food grade flavorings because you want your product to taste good. However, there is so much more that food-grade flavors and fragrances can do than just affect the flavor of food.
If you create pre-packaged foods, it is important to consider which food-grade flavors and fragrances you should add to your products so that they will continue to taste good for longer periods. If you prepare foods for immediate serving, certain food flavorings will only improve the flavor. Whether you are preparing pre-packaged foods or foods to serve immediately, consider this information:
- Prevent food from tasting "off" if it has sat for a long period.
- Ensure that the food packaging does not leech flavor compounds into the food.
- In the post-trans fat era, food flavorings and food grade fragrances make food taste good, even when cooked in healthy oils.
Know what types of food-grade flavors and fragrances you need
If you are new to food grade chemicals, you have some research to do. There are literally thousands of food additives you can add to your food product, each of which adds different flavors and performs different functions.
University of California at Berkeley
to understand the possible range of food grade fragrances available, and to find out what chemicals form them. You can find a list of essential oils, which are types of food grade extracts, at Organic Facts. You may also need to consult a company like Spectra Flavor & Fragrance Research, LLC to help you determine which food grade chemicals you need for your food product.
Understand what adding food grade chemicals does to your food
Be aware that certain food additives may have harmful side effects. However, despite this new research, food still contains these food grade chemicals. It is important that you understand the risks of adding any food-grade flavors and fragrances to your food.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
has not outlawed these substances, but it is good to know that they may pose health risks. If you want to know more about what the USDA says about food-grade flavorings and fragrances, you can check their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, contact them directly, or follow the international Codex Committe on Food Additives (CCFA)
Look for food flavoring manufacturers online
Once you have found a safe set of food flavorings, look for websites that sell them. Most food-grade flavors and fragrances are not going to be available in a large enough quantity for commercial food production at a grocery store, so buying wholesale may be your only option.
Investigate the differences between natural food flavorings and artificial food flavorings
A food flavor manufacturer may produce "natural flavors" or "artificial flavors." There is only one small problem with that: both are human-created food grade chemicals that may pose equal health risks. The key is to find a flavor chemical supplier or food fragrance company that creates organic products, most of which are healthier and contain fewer synthetic chemicals.
- Do not forget that smell is a critical part of the sense of taste. Make the food flavorings and aromas work together.
- Many food-grade flavors and fragrances are very volatile. Use them shortly after opening, or they can go rancid.
- Many different food grade flavorings and food grade fragrances offer similar tastes and smells. Find the ones you like and that fit your budget.