Flavourings in Food

Flavourings are used in a wide range of food products. Most flavourings are an imitation of the flavour of a known foodstuff. Some flavours are isolated from natural raw ingredients but this is costly and also wastes valuable natural resources. Flavourings used as additives are often developed by a Creative Flavourist . Their job is t o identify the substances present in the food that are the most important in producing its flavour and then to create a flavour profile which mimics the particular food in the most effective way.

The average flavouring contains between 5 and 50 ingredients. A few flavourings contain many more.

Click on the picture to see how many flavour molecules there are in a raspberry.


The flavour in raspberries is because of
an amazing number of flavour molecules.

Common Flavourings in Food

Food Reason for adding flavour
Ice cream Taste is unacceptable without the addition of flavourings
Margarine Taste is unacceptable without the addition of flavourings
Meat substitutes such as soya protein and mycoprotein These are low fat and extremely nutritious however, without the addition of a flavour, they have a bland and uninteresting taste
Wine gums / table jelly No flavour at all without the addition of flavourings
Yoghurt May have a natural flavour present but possibly at a low intensity. Flavourings may be added to enhance the natural flavour

There is really only one way to demonstrate that a flavour is suitable for a particular product. Trained tasters are used to evaluate the final food product. Members of the public may also be used in large scale tests whose results can then be statistically analysed.

Find out where flavourings come from


Flavour molecules found in a raspberry

  • 13 hydrocarbons including Limonene and Pinene.
  • 36 alcohols such as Ethanol, cis 3 Hexenol, Geraniol and Menthol.
  • 17 aldehydes like Benzaldehyde and Phenylacetaldehyde.
  • 22 ketones including Ionones, Hydroxybutanone and Camphor.
  • 16 acids such as Acetic, Hexanoic and Benzoic acids.
  • 27 Esters like iso Amyl acetate, Benzyl acetate and Methyl salicylate.