Germacrene D fraction and Fig Flavor

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I was spoiled growing up. My parents did not buy us things, but they had a garden and orchard. I ate my fill of apricots, asian pears, and prunes right off the tree. Fresh, sweet, flavorful fruit. Often times I'd end up eating 10-20 apricots or prunes in one setting because they were so good. One fruit that I did not over consume was figs. I found fig skins sticky and the seeds odd. Grandma liked them, so I picked them for her and she was delighted.   Now that I have matured, I devour figs and their heavy, sweet floral character. Their aroma is reminiscent of Germacrene-D fraction isolated from Ylang-Ylang available from Treatt. Treatt calls the aroma chemical Germacrene-D fraction, but uses the … [Read more...]

Cactus Jelly

Cactus Jelly

The best part about traveling is trying new foods. Some memorable food experiences I have had include: gjetost in Norway turtle soup in New Orleans street tacos in Tijuana aperitifs in Italy okonomiyaki in Tokyo poke in Maui barbecue in Kansas City Still, there are a million more places to visit and foods to try. My flavor chemist career had me traveling the globe, but since I have had children, my once fast paced life has changed. Now, when I travel, I look for places with amusement parks and kid friendly meals. Unique food from other regions are gifts I receive from globe-trotting friends or family members. More recently, my brother-in-law gave me a jar of cactus jelly that he got in  Arizona, a place I would love to … [Read more...]

Planters NUT·rition Peanut butter with Energy Mix, Flavor Review

NUTrition Peanut Butter w/Energy Mix

Should Peanut Butter be loaded with flavor? Legally, peanut butter is a food prepared by grinding roasted peanuts and has no more than 10% of the weight of ingredients as seasonings and stabilizing ingredients. The United States goes on to say (21 CFR164.150) that artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives and color additives are not suitable for peanut butter. Peanut butter is a nutritious food and it should stay that way. Planters is offering the consumer a little something different: NUT·rition peanut butter with energy mix.  It comes in three flavors: Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut Berry Nut Banana Granola Nut The NUT·rition line from Planters is a brand that started with nut … [Read more...]

Jif® Chocolate flavored Hazelnut Spread, Flavor Review

Jif Chocolate flavored Hazelnut Spread

Flavor Chemists copy successful food & beverage products on the market. For a budding young Flavor Chemist, this is fun and rewarding. As our career moves forward, we want to improve on successful products. Jif's®Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread is an attempt to improve on the already popular Nutella® Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk & Cocoa. Improve, because Jif® has natural flavors; as opposed to artificial flavors in Nutella®. We want all natural food products. Jif® Chocolate flavored Hazelnut Spread is a failed flavor matching attempt and pales in comparison to Nutella®. Making artificial flavors into natural flavors can be extremely challenging. Both hazelnut spreads contain similar ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, … [Read more...]

The Laughing Cow Cream Cheese Spread cinnamon, strawberry and sun-dried tomato & basil flavor, Review

The Laughing Cow Cream Cheese Spread

Instead of a candy dish, my workplace shares The Laughing Cow Cream Cheese Spread Wedges. I'm thankful for the healthy treat. A health benefit of The Laughing Cow cheeses is that they are portioned controlled. Just one wedge with some apple slices, cucumbers and some crackers is a filling snack. The Laughing Cow company released several flavors of cheese spreads and I have recently reviewed three of them. Hands down, my absolute favorite is the cinnamon cream cheese spread.  Interestingly enough, this isn't a sweet vanilla, honey or brown sugar mixed cinnamon and cream cheese flavor.  Laughing Cow presents a salty, not too sweet cream cheese spread with a hint of a brown cinnamon spice note.   It is a unique and delicious flavor … [Read more...]

Kraft Philadelphia Chocolate Cream Cheese Spreads, Indulgence review

Kraft Chocolate Cream Cheese spreads

My kids are in seventh heaven. We have all three chocolate cream cheese spreads from Kraft in our house.  We have chosen to try them on vanilla wafers with blueberries or crushed peppermint candy on top. To my daughter's delight, she got to pack a  blueberry bagel with dark chocolate cream cheese spread for lunch. It's like Christmas. These new Kraft chocolate cream cheese spreads are definitely indulgent. Frosting and chocolate cream cheese spread have similar calorie and fat content. Cream Cheese spread has slightly lower calories (120  for 2 tbsp. vs. 140 for prepared chocolate frosting), some calcium (4% DV) and cholesterol. Prepared frosting (such as Duncan Hines Creamy Chocolate) has natural and artificial flavors added. White … [Read more...]

Dad’s honey

Dad's honey

My dad is trendy. Wow, I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. My dad's hobbies of growing his own food (fruits and vegetables) and bee keeping are "in" and I'm benefiting.  At Christmas, Dad gave my family six 1 pound jars of honey from his bees. Yum!  My youngest daughter and myself love real honey on our toast. The bee keeping trend began a few years ago and has blossomed into a country-wide hobby.  http://oneblockdiet.sunset.com/2009/07/fashionable-bees.html. Perhaps this trend was driven by our distrust of honey imports. The United States has no legal standard for honey at a national level. It leaves our nation wide open to fraudulent honey imports (colored high fructose corn syrup) that are sold at a premium … [Read more...]

Jufran Banana Sauce (aka Banana “Ketchup”) review

Jufran Banana Sauce ("Banana Ketchup")

Ketchup is known as "America's National Condiment".  The sweet & sour taste of ketchup goes extremely well with fried foods and is always available  at places that serve hotdogs, hamburgers and french fries. Recently, I read the book Pure Ketchup by Andrew Smith. This book was well researched and enlightening. Something I learned that there is banana ketchup in the Philippines. My husband is Filipino and I was surprised that he never introduced me to banana ketchup. Therefore, on our recent visit to Seafood City outside of Seattle, I went shopping and picked some up. There is no tomato in Jufran Banana Sauce and yet it is reminiscent the tomato ketchup I know.  There is a slight texture difference and higher sweetness and banana … [Read more...]

Kraft Philadelphia Cooking Creme Original Review

Kraft Philadelphia Cooking Creme Original

Remember hearing about Kraft cooking creme last Spring? Kraft advertised to use it to prepare easy/tasty meals. Since I only really use cream cheese for frosting and bagels, I didn't buy any. Recently, for convenience, I decided to get some as an alternative to a roux cheese sauce I serve on spinach ravioli for my kids. My girls love the cooking creme sauce. All I did was lightly microwave a few spoonfuls and mix it with their spinach ravioli and they ate it up (no fuss, lots of compliments and no pestering them to eat their food).  Kraft cooking creme tastes exactly like cream cheese. The only difference seems to be a smoother texture and saltier taste. I'm curious how cooking creme differs from cream cheese. The USDA has a standard for … [Read more...]

Land O Lakes all natural Cinnamon Sugar Spread Review

Land O Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Spread

Those of us who have a sweet tooth rarely enjoy toast with just butter, usually it is accompanied with honey, jam or on especially indulgent days:  cinnamon & sugar. Land O Lakes has us with a sweet tooth in mind with their all natural Cinnamon Sugar Spread. The spread has: Cream, sugar, canola oil, water, cinnamon, salt and citric acid. It smells delicious, like a cinnamon roll (woody & cinnamon bark like). I had to spread it generously on my toast to get the desired effect and even then I was slightly disappointed. The cinnamon part was great:  like a cinnamon roll with vanilla icing; but the spread lacked all butter flavor. Cinnamon sugar toast needs to have a generous amount of butter on it, nicely melted to absorb generous … [Read more...]