What Is A Flavoring Agent?

Jul. 01, 2022

Flavoring agents are major food additives. Hundreds of varieties of fruits, nuts, seafood, spice blends, vegetables, and wines are natural flavoring agents. In addition to natural flavors, there are chemical flavors that mimic natural flavors. Some examples of chemical flavorings are alcohols with bitter and medicinal flavors, esters with fruity flavors, ketones and pyrazines that provide flavor to caramel, phenols with smoky flavors, and terpenoids with citrus or pine flavors.


According to Codex Alimentarius, "flavoring agents or flavoring substances are added to foods to impart aroma or flavor. As with other food additives, their use should not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or mislead consumers. The amount added to the food should be at the minimum level required to achieve the desired flavoring effect. Flavors and flavoring substances should also be of appropriate food-grade quality; and prepared and handled in the same manner as food ingredients."


Flavors are used as additives to enhance and alter, flavors and aromas in natural foods that may have been lost due to food processing. Flavors are also used to create flavor in foods such as candy and snacks that do not have a preferred flavor on their own. Flavors are usually divided into three categories natural and artificial flavors and natural identical flavors.


Methyl Cinnamate  

Methyl Cinnamate


Natural flavoring substances are extracted from plants, herbs, and spices, animal or microbial fermentation. Essential oils and oleoresins, herbs, spices and sweetnesses produced by the removal of solvents from solvent extracts are all-natural flavors. Natural flavorings can be used for human consumption in their natural form or in processed form, and they cannot contain any identical to natural or artificial flavoring substances.


U.S. federal regulations define natural flavorings as "essential oils, oleoresins, flavors or extracts, protein hydrolysates, distillates, or any baked, heated, or enzymatic product containing flavoring ingredients derived from spices, fruits, or juices. , vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herbs, bark, buds, roots, leaves, or any other edible part of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermented products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavoring rather than nutrition."


Artificial flavorings are chemically similar to natural flavorings but are more readily available and cheaper. One drawback, however, is that they may not be exact copies of the natural flavoring agents they mimic, such as amyl acetate used as a banana flavoring agent or ethyl butyrate for pineapple.


Naturally, identical flavoring agents are flavoring substances obtained synthetically or isolated by chemical processes. Artificial flavorings have the same chemical composition as their natural counterparts. These flavorings cannot contain any artificial flavoring substances. Methyl cinnamate is found in many foods, some of which are Chinese cinnamon, fruits, herbs and spices, and sweet basil.


Flavoring agent methyl cinnamate is the methyl ester of cinnamic acid, white or transparent solid, with a strong aromatic odor. It occurs naturally in various plants, including fruits (such as strawberries) and some cooking spices (such as Sichuan peppers and certain varieties of basil).


In addition to this category, there are natural flavor enhancers, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), which bring out the flavor of the food. They have a different flavors and cannot be referred to as any known flavor such as sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. In fact, the flavor of MSG is called "freshness" and is known as the fifth flavor, which is also found in high-protein foods such as meat. MSG was once extracted from seaweed, but now it is produced commercially through the fermentation of starch, molasses, or sugar.


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