The Dark Side of Flavors

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/lung-illnesses-associated-use-vaping-products Flavor use in alcohol, vape and cannabis Flavors are one of the largest single factors affecting our choice to purchase a food item. Beyond foods, flavors find use in alcoholic beverages, vape and cannabis. Examples Manufactured flavors are aroma, taste and sensate components that dull the harshness of alcohol, nicotine and marijuana. Examples of the some of the more appealing flavored adult products include: Wine coolers and flavored vodka Clove cigarettes (Kretet)Mint flavored chewBanana Cream vape juice Cherry gummies (cannabis infused edible)Mango Haze Bud e-liquid (marijuana concentrate) History If you went to High … [Read more...]

Eating Disorder Awareness

"Eating is fundamental to human existence. It's the primary work of mothers and babies; the basis of every holiday and communal celebration" (Virginia Sole-Smith, The Eating Instinct) https://virginiasolesmith.com Yet, eating is sometimes difficult. Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 25-March 3) Thirty million people of all ages and genders suffer from eating disorders in the United States. These illnesses affect all races and ethnic groups and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Alarmingly, every 62 minutes a person dies as the direct result of an eating disorder. https://anad.org These illnesses typically co-exist with mood disorders, substance abuse, obsessive compulsive or anxiety disorders. … [Read more...]

Cannabis, flavor and food

Apothecarists Flavors originate from the natural extracts of plant material. Flavorists work side by side analytical chemists and botanists to identify and quantify the chemical components of plants so they can re-create the plant material aroma and flavor. They create flavors that help our food be more enjoyable. When I read stories about apothecarists who gather herbs and extract the medicines, I feel a connection. There is a connection and yet skepticism between our two trades. Connection The flavor industry connects with and includes: spice dealersbotanical extractorsessential oil manufacturerschemical manufacturersfountain syrup producerstobacco companiesoral care manufacturesmedicine manufacturersseasoning … [Read more...]

Satisfying Scented Slime

Why do kids love slime? Because it is satisfying to: See fun colors and can make into shapes  Touch has texture/elasticity  Smell variety of sweet and floral aromas Hear snapping or popping sounds Slime satisfies 4 out of our 5 basic senses. Senses are how we enjoy life.                 Not only does my kid like making and playing with slime, she likes talking about. She chats with her friends and watches videos describing satisfying slime. Kids like to talk about how they feel (what they see, smell or taste). When talking about flavors with kids, I bring bottles and aroma blotters. I do not tell them what they are smelling, but let them guess and talk about what … [Read more...]

Petitions, Checklists and Headaches

Petition Granted Earlier this month, FDA granted a partial petition to not allow the following synthetic flavor substances in food. In parentheses are the flavors I remember using them in. beta Myrcene ( mango, orange, mint) Methyl Eugenol (raspberry) Ethyl acrylate (rum and egg nog) Pulegone (mint) Pyridine Benzophenone Checklists These substances are on customer's "checklists". Checklists are disclosures food manufacturers need from ingredient suppliers before they buy flavors. They are helpful communication tools. Usually, there is a column for the flavor developer to disclose the amount added and another column for disclosing the amount present. The amount present is how much is added as part of an ingredient … [Read more...]

Acetaldehyde and Flavor

My Fear Acetaldehyde FEMA 2003 is an aroma chemical that I am scared of. Why? Because I did not follow standard lab safety protocol. I sniffed a bottle of acetaldehyde 100% (neat) directly. (Never, never smell a bottle directly in a laboratory!!! Use the "wafting technique". ) What happened? I nearly passed out and I fell into a chair. I felt sick, had trouble standing up and lost my sense of smell for awhile. This is my only encounter with neat acetaldehyde (20 plus years ago). Now, I avoid it like a child avoids a burner after touching a hot stove. I am afraid of it. Confronting my Fears Occasionally, I decide I have to use acetaldehyde because it is important in good flavors. Many flavors benefit from acetaldehyde: whiskey flavor, … [Read more...]

Cran-Raspberry La Croix

Flavors and Pesticides Does anyone else think it's fascinating that essential oils can be flavors as well as pesticides? Some people find it alarming. This week, a law firm in Cook County, Illinois alleged that LaCroix was adding pesticide chemicals such as linalool to their products. They also allege that the "all natural" label on La Croix is fraudulent. This made for an eye-catching news headline in USA Today: "LaCroix faces lawsuit for allegedly including cockroach insecticide in its sparkling water"   I looked into the status of linalool with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA is the federal agency that regulates pesticides and administers the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The status of … [Read more...]

Safety and Quality Decisions

Angry Bosses I've faced lots of angry bosses. Angry because sometimes they have to make difficult risk decisions. Tough Situations: Informing a new manager that products are out of compliance with tax regulations. Receiving a customer complaint because the flavor ruined their product. Receiving a customer complaint that product is spoiled. Notifying "the most responsible person" (boss) at food-producing business that: Your product tested positive for pathogens. Your product is associated with consumer illness. You received potentially harmful product from a food manufacturer. In general, the common link between all these encounters is respect for the boss who is responsible for making a difficult decision … [Read more...]

Hacked

FlavorScientist.com got hacked. I am angry, frustrated and sad about this. The Hack People searching the internet eager to find more information on slime scents, fruit punch or cherry flavor were maliciously sent to a website where they could purchase cheap Viagra.   WordPress plug-ins provide an option to pay $150-$300 to fix redirect hacks, but the outcome is questionable. Correspondence with these plug-in developers are one-sided. I am leery of plug-ins which provide options to pay but no in-depth details on outcome. Have they fixed this problem on other websites or are they just preying on my vulnerability and desperation? Finally, my husband (computer guru) intervened and flavorscientist.com is now "clean". You should not be … [Read more...]

The Nose Knows

Pacific Science Center In an unusual turn of events, my 14-year-old has proclaimed she learned something from her mom. Prior conversations involved me being told I am mean and know nothing. So does this mean that my teen daughter has matured and appreciates her mom's wisdom? Not exactly, she learned at my STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) presentations that our noses are responsible for allowing us to sense food's flavor. Therefore, when I insisted she "at least try " the slaw I made for dinner the other night, she proclaimed she learned something useful from mom and ate the slaw while plugging her nose. She knew if she did this she would avoid sensing the slaw's flavor. The Sense of Smell We can only … [Read more...]