What’s that smell? Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) FEMA 3536

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What's that smell? Who cut the cheese? Is there a gas leak? Did I step on something? What's rotting in the frig? These are some questions you may ask when you walk into a flavor lab where the chemist has been using Dimethyl sulfide (DMS). DMS smells terrible and can politely be described as canned creamed corn. DMS is like a fair maiden in torn clothes; even though it stinks, it makes flavors taste better. A flavor chemist has to see the beauty DMS has to offer. Flavor scientists use DMS in seafood or meat flavors, like crab or chicken and in milk, butter, egg, mayonnaise, malt, vegetable, and fruit flavors. Fruit flavor formulas that  I have created using DMS include raspberry and strawberry. DMS adds the "ripe" note to berry flavors … [Read more...]

Blackberries and Ionones, Irones and Damascones

wild blackberries in the Northwest U.S.

Rows and rows of wild blackberries grew in the pasture behind my childhood home. I will forever remember the fragrant smell of these wild berries on a warm summer night. When I began my flavor chemist training, my first impression of elderflower absolute was ripe wild blackberries on a hot summer night. The smell of wild blackberries drying in the hot summer sun is deliciously sweet, slightly floral, yet full of ripe berry richness. My siblings,the neighbor kids and I would fill empty stainless steel milk buckets with the berries. Sometimes, we made a cobbler, but most times, we just ate the berries we picked. Currently, my home in the Northwest U.S. is surrounded by wild blackberry plants. I love to inhale their delicious odor and … [Read more...]