Keeping it simple-Fruit Punch Flavor


KISS is an acronym used by scientists and engineers,”Keep it simple, stupid”. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple and not made complicated. Basically, simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity must be avoided.

Flavor scientists often add too many unneeded components to a flavor. Why? Because they are artists. Just like chefs, a flavor scientist “throw things in”, because it seems like it should improve the flavor or because the ingredient is a favorite. Sometimes a flavor scientist developes a new flavor using other lengthy flavors, like making a blackberry flavor by combining a strawberry, blueberry and raspberry flavor. A finished flavor can easily end up with 150-300 materials. If a customer loves the flavor that was created and wants to use it in a food product, then the dilemma begins. The flavor scientist realizes they do not understand their creation and what is contributing and what is not needed, but is reluctant to change the formulation because the customer is happy. The lesson is that, from the start of a project, a good flavor scientist should thoughtfully choose each ingredient. The goal is a flavor formulation contain 15-30 components rather than 150-300 components.

The KISS principle is something that comes to our minds around the New Year. New Years is the  time to sort through the hundreds of items in our homes and decide what needs to go. Last week, at my home, we simplified. We filled two large garbage cans with clutter and filled up our SUV with items that could be re-used and donated to the Good Will. It’s a New Years tradition to think about clutter, fellow blogger, Mary Kate also discussed clutter and her “clutter coach”on a recent blog posting. As she put so eloquently, simplify can also mean “I threw a bunch of shit away”.

Because I am simplifying,  I give you this 4 ingredient fruit punch flavor formula:

Benaldehyde (characterizing component  cherry )         70%

Lemon Oil                                                                                 10%

Orange Oil 5 fold                                                                      15%

Allyl caproate (character component pineapple)              5%

Total                                                                                         100%

However, if you want to use this flavor in a beverage, you will need to add ingredients to make it water dispersable. Or if you want to make your fruit punch flavor unique, you will  need to add a splash of another flavor, like raspberry. Essentially, it is almost impossible to keep things simple, but we can start the New Year with KISS (Keep it simple stupid).

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  1. Martin Baldan says:

    Thanks, Susie, very interesting post. I liked the tip about the number of components a flavor should typically have.

    I’m intriged about benzaldehyde. I’ve seen it described as smelling of cherry but also of bitter almond. In this context, I guess that the other fruity flavors make it more resembling of the former. Perhaps it also depends on the concentration?

    I didn’t know about Allyl caproate as a key component of pinapple flavor. I had to add it to my list. Here it is in my little “FCN” format (Flavis number, CAS number, English name as seen in the EU SANCO flavorings database):

    09.244; 123-68-2; Allyl hexanoate

    Here’s a few other substances I’ve taken from two GC-O studies of pineapples:

    01.007; 87-44-5; beta-Caryophyllene
    02.014; 98-55-5; alpha-Terpineol
    05.009; 124-13-0; Octanal
    05.010; 112-31-2; Decanal
    05.025; 124-19-6; Nonanal
    09.039; 105-54-4; Ethyl butyrate
    09.059; 110-38-3; Ethyl decanoate
    09.060; 123-66-0; Ethyl hexanoate
    09.069; 106-70-7; Methyl hexanoate
    09.117; 111-11-5; Methyl octanoate
    09.191; 2396-83-0; Ethyl hex-3-enoate
    09.409; 7452-79-1; Ethyl 2-methylbutyrate
    09.483; 868-57-5; Methyl 2-methylbutyrate
    10.015; 698-76-0; Octano-1,5-lactone
    12.002; 13532-18-8; Methyl 3-(methylthio)propionate
    12.053; 13327-56-5; Ethyl 3-(methylthio)propionate
    13.010; 3658-77-3; 4-Hydroxy-2,5-dimethylfuran-3(2H)-one

    “Characteristic Aroma Compounds from Different
    Pineapple Parts”
    Chang-Bin Wei , Sheng-Hui Liu, Yu-Ge Liu , Ling-Ling Lv , Wen-Xiu Yang and Guang-Ming Sun

    (From abstract and table 2)

    “Aroma Volatile Compounds from Two Fresh Pineapple Varieties
    in China”
    Liang-Yong Zheng, Guang-Ming Sun , Yu-Ge Liu, Ling-Ling Lv, Wen-Xiu Yang, Wei-Feng Zhao and Chang-Bin Wei

    (From table 2)

    Kind regards!

    • Susie Bautista says:

      Hi Martin: Always good to hear from you. The perspective of Benzaldehyde as Bitter Almond is correct. Benzaldehyde is used for almond or marzipan flavor in Europe; while in America, we associate Benzaldehyde with Cherry. A good cherry flavor is much different in Europe as compared to America. Maybe that should be my next post?

  2. Martin Baldan says:

    Thanks, Susie!
    Amazing information, I had no idea. Indeed, I’m looking forward to that post!

    Take care!