The Brownie Project

The Funk The kids are not going back to school. I may never have the house to myself again. And, if we don't get rain soon, I may not be able to leave the house. Public health officials in Western Washington have said stay inside, don't go outside and breath the air. Needless to say, I am in a funk. Kids doing "remote" schooling Smokey, hazardous , unhealthy air The Adult Project MaryCake made me find myself. In this endless mom cycle of making food, cleaning, taking care of kids and pets, she gave me a "project". She brought me a brownie to "deconstruct". "the brownie" When you are in a funk, nothing seems fun, but "this brownie" forced me to change my attitude. Brownies don't last long and friends that … [Read more...]

Blockchain in Food Supply

Technology for Tracking We have the technology to give us the assurance of knowing and no longer need to rely on trust. In our homes, we have smart devices such as Ring to monitor our front door and myQ Smart Home to check and see if we closed the garage door. Additionally, parents track teens anytime and anywhere using the APPS like find my iPhone and Life 360. In the workplace, we have blockchain technology. It can track a botanical ingredient from seed to sale, so we can monitor it in real time. www.foodlogistics.com Blockchain use in Regulated Cannabis Market Blockchain technology, sometimes called traceability, is currently in use by regulators in legal cannabis markets. This technology is a real time data hub … [Read more...]

Exhilarating Spiced Chai

Chai Tea Latte Mix https://www.amazon.com/Big-Train-Powdered-Instant-Restaurant/dp/B003SRHDMK In 1998, I received the assignment to copy Big Train Chai Tea mix and fell in love. What is not to love? Sugar, cream, spices, tea, vanilla? I measured the brix (sugar), looked at the nutritional data on the label and decided my recipe needed at least 20% sugar. It was delicious. To counter balance sweetness, flavor is a necessity. We don't want food to be overly sweet and bland. It's common to think that bland food is old, like an apple that's been in storage too long. Our tendency is to only take a bite or sip of food that is too sweet and lacks flavor. The same is true for foods that are not sweet enough. We cannot perceive flavor … [Read more...]

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 they smell. They chat about experiences, they get excited, … [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...]