By Andrea Heglas
The human tongue is estimated to have between 2,000 and 8,000 taste buds and hundreds of thousands of receptor cells to detect flavors – sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. During a meal, these thousands of sensors cause taste signals from the tongue and smell signals from the nose to trigger the concept of flavor perceived in the brain.
But the experience of eating and drinking is much more complex than a simple definition can encompass or chemical signals firing to the brain can explain. The way we experience flavor is multifaceted. The way we taste can be influenced by language, color, environment, and our expectations. Flavor is an experience. Flavors can take us back to a different time and place by evoking strong memories–the taste of popcorn at your first professional football game, salted watermelon chews while running a marathon, a full bodied cabernet sauvignon during a late night dinner. Flavor is what brings consumers back to their favorite products or prevents them from buying the same product twice. Flavor is a powerful thing.
Today, flavor houses have the technology to create any flavor you can imagine. They use GC-MS and HPLC to analyze the composition of existing flavors for matching, and Supercritical CO2 for extracting compounds to create high quality flavors. With this new technology, well-equipped flavor houses have the ability to harness these analytical flavoring capabilities for your brand.
However, you don’t always have to work with a third-party flavor house to develop new flavors for your products. Some contract manufacturer in the nutritional space have in-house flavoring labs that you as the brand can take advantage of as part of the manufacturing process. No longer would you have to have this capability in-house or work with an additional resource in your R&D phase.
What are the benefits of working with a partner with in-house R&D and flavoring capabilities? For one, a large inventory of available flavors allows for quick creation of new flavor systems and helps to expedite the product development process. In addition, an in-house applications lab is completely dedicated to developing new flavors for your brand. This means less waiting around time and more time fine-tuning the flavor system to match exactly what you need. For more complicated flavoring projects, strong relationships to some of the industry’s largest flavor houses provide easy access to analytical abilities to create unique and delicious flavors formulated and designed specifically for your brand.
In-house flavoring capabilities help reduce product development time and decrease turn-around time for samples. Click here for more information about how to bring more flavor to your brand.
Andrea Heglas is an R&D Manager at Genysis Brand Solutions. She received her BS in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh and her MS in Nutrition from the University of Utah.