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...]

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...]

Leave Well Enough Alone?

GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) In the August 2013 Food Technology, there is an article titled "GRAS: Leave Well Enough Alone" http://www.ift.org/Food-Technology/Past-Issues/2013/August/Columns/PERSPECTIVE.aspx.  GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) refers to food additives used in the USA. Our laws dictate that all ingredients added to our foods must be GRAS. We constantly add new GRAS materials to our food supply and many of these additives are flavor ingredients. The consumer will not always be aware of these new additives, because they are labeled with generalities such as "flavor". The Gaps in GRAS The article "Leave Well Enough Alone" are the thoughts of one person in the food industry. The author, Eric Greenberg writes … [Read more...]

Changes

Bawling My husband would not watch Steel Magnolias or the Notebook with me. He tried his best to watch a few scenes, but eventually retreated to the computer room and came out for a snack towards the end of these movies. When he saw me bawling my eyes out, he asked "is the movie good?", to which I quietly replied "yes". His response was head shake and a nod in disbelief. Poisoned The book Poisoned had a similar effect on me as the movies. I found myself crying as I read  it. Again, my husband queried, "do you like that book?". My answer was yes. When I shared some of the details about the children in hospitals dying from food poisoning, he replied "doesn't sound good". Poisoned, by Jeff Benedict," The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli … [Read more...]