Taking Taste from
So-So to Spectacular
By Christine Homsey
Are you working on a product that, despite numerous iterations,
seems to lack that certain something? Although the basic
flavor may be pleasant, maybe the product just isnt as round,
interesting or savory as it could be. What can a food technologist do?
Rather than adding more flavor to the system, simply enhancing the existing
flavors may do the trick. Adding a flavor potentiator, introducing a
complementary flavor or even using a different cooking technique could
accomplish this. This article will discuss some ingredients and techniques
for taking a product from so-so to spectacular.
The basics of taste
Most of us are familiar with what traditionally has been designated
as the four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. In addition
to these, the Japanese have long recognized a fifth taste called umami
(oo-MOM-ee). Umami, a taste distinctly separate from salty,
is described as savory, brothy, meaty
or MSG-like. Mushrooms, with their very savory, meat-like
notes, embody the umami concept almost perfectly.
Flavor is sensorially different from taste. Taste is a function of the
taste buds on our tongues, whereas flavor is related to smell. Flavor
enhancers may impact the taste and/or flavor of a food. Some enhancers
impart an actual flavor that complements the characterizing flavor,
but other substances such as MSG, salt and some nucleotides are considered
flavor potentiators because they give no flavor of their own at typical
usage levels. Potentiators do, however, enhance or intensify other flavors.
A pinch of salt
Sodium chloride (salt) is a flavor enhancer used in most prepared foods,
whether sweet or savory. In addition to adding the taste sensation of
saltiness, sodium chloride enhances our perception of most other flavors.
Salt needs to be solubilized for full functionality. Although the amount
of salt that a solution can hold is finite about 26% by weight
the form the salt takes can change the rate of solubilization.
For example, finer granulations of salt will dissolve more rapidly than
coarser forms. In low-moisture foods, a very fine salt (flour salt)
may be desirable to get better distribution since otherwise, it may
not be fully solubilized. Most salt is sold in the typical cube-shaped
crystalline form, but specialty salts with unique crystal shapes provide
extremely fast dissolution. These unique crystals possess a greater
surface area, which allows for greater solubility when exposed to water.
In addition to enhancing pleasant flavors, salt can also heighten less-desirable
notes. In a soy- or oat-based nutrition bar, salt can cause the beany
or grainy notes to dominate the desired flavor. When purchasing a chocolate-
or strawberry-flavored bar, consumers generally expect to taste chocolate
or strawberry. They may not be expecting a strong soy or cereal flavor.
In such instances, the developer will need to determine the threshold
at which the salt begins to have a detrimental effect. Also, flavor-masking
agents may be needed to suppress some of the undesirable notes before
the final flavoring system is developed.
Product designers need to take many factors into account when deciding
on a products final salt level. Because sweet products usually
do not have an obviously salty taste, it is easy to forget salts
impact on overall flavor when designing sweet baked goods. As other
ingredients are manipulated, the salt level may need some adjustment.
When working on savory products, consider the sodium contained in other
ingredients such as seasoning blends, meat bases or vegetable bases.
Finished product form also will affect the final salt level. Frozen
products tend to need a slightly higher salt level than equivalent products
that are freshly prepared. For this reason, salt levels should be determined
based on evaluations of reconstituted products. Ultimately, deciding
on the salt level for a product can be tricky because salt palatability
varies across cultures, age groups and individuals.
The amino acid glutamic acid occurs naturally in many foods, such as
tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, potatoes, nectarines, cheese, green tea,
fish, beef and even human breast milk. In foods where glutamic acid
occurs at low levels, it still has some impact on the taste of the food.
Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Although
MSG was extracted from seaweed in the early 1900s, the pure granular
form is now produced through fermentation by the organism Corynebacterium
glutamicum. MSG has no flavor of its own at normal usage levels,
but it greatly enhances and lifts savory foods. The enhancing abilities
of MSG are affected somewhat by the food systems pH, making it
most effective at a pH range of 5.5 to 8.0. High temperatures also may
cause some loss of effectiveness.
MSG and salt are used at similar levels in food formulation. Using too
little MSG will prevent a product from reaching its full flavor potential;
when used at levels well over the perception threshold, it will not
have any additional flavor-enhancing effect.
MSG must be specifically included in ingredient lists as monosodium
glutamate when added in its pure form. Modified food ingredients
that contain glutamic acid (such as hydrolyzed plant protein and autolyzed
yeast extract) must be declared by their legal names. Glutamic acid
is not declared when it is part of a natural food such as tomatoes;
just the food itself is listed.
The FDA designated MSG as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) in 1958,
but MSG was besieged by bad publicity in the early 1990s. Some MSG manufacturers
experienced a slight sales decline after CBSs 60 Minutes
aired a particularly negative segment. Since then, however, sales of
this enhancer have seen steady growth and the FDA reaffirmed MSGs
safety in 1995 as a result of a report issued by the Federation of American
Societies for Experimental Biology.
Nucleotides used as flavor potentiators include disodium 5'-inosinate
(IMP) and disodium 5'-guanylate (GMP). Although sometimes used as replacements
for MSG, these nucleotides are synergistic with MSG and will have the
most impact when combined with it. Sales of 5'-nucleotides grew steadily
in the early 1990s when, as a result of consumer outcry, manufacturers
quickly set about creating MSG-free product lines. Like MSG, nucleotides
are often used in savory foods such as meats, soups, sauces, gravies,
vegetables, snacks and Asian cuisine. Typical usage levels for nucleotides
are approximately 0.2% to 0.3% in a finished product.
The dry, white crystalline forms of IMP and GMP are generally stable,
but may degrade slightly when undergoing thermal processes such as retorting
(at temperatures of about 240°F or more). These nucleotides may
also lose activity when exposed to enzymes, irradiation or water loss
(5'-nucleotides are soluble in water).
When nucleotides are combined with MSG, it often reduces their taste
thresholds, so it requires less to achieve the intended effect and reduces
costs. In addition to affecting the intensity of a flavor, combinations
of potentiators may also impact the quality of taste as well.
According to Dave Barbour, director of sales for the food ingredient
division of Ajinomoto U.S.A. Inc., Paramus, NJ, one nucleotide will
sometimes be more effective than another in a specific application.
For this reason, IMP and GMP often are sold as a 50/50 blend commonly
referred to as I and G or I plus G. Many manufacturers
do not want to inventory a variety of flavor enhancers or spend time
optimizing every formula, so the blend serves as an effective compromise.
Says Barbour, I plus G is a one-size-fits-all product.
Simply soy sauce
Soy sauce available in liquid and dry forms gives a meaty,
hearty flavor to foods. This ingredient adds depth to many foods, such
as meats, marinades, vegetables, Asian entrées, pot pies, sauces,
gravies, salad dressings, soups, bouillon, barbecue sauces, mustards,
dips and seasoning blends.
According to Don Iwinski, director of industrial sales (San-J products)
for Ajinomoto U.S.A., U.S. soy sauce is marketed in four major varieties:
tamari, shoyu and clear shoyu,
all of which are fermented, plus a nonfermented product made with vegetable
or plant protein. Tamari is based almost
exclusively (90% to 100%) on soybeans, whereas shoyu is made from wheat
and soybeans. Clear shoyu actually has
a light amber color, enhances flavors like regular shoyu
and works well in applications that require a lighter color. The nonfermented
form of soy sauce is a less-expensive alternative to the other soy sauces
and is prepared by acid hydrolysis of vegetable or plant protein with
caramel coloring, corn syrup, salt and other flavoring agents added.
The various processes used to manufacture soy sauce create entirely
different amino-acid profiles in the finished sauce. According to Kunitomo
Kizu, assistant vice president, research and development, Kikkoman Marketing
and Planning, Elgin, IL, the fermented or brewed forms are
produced through the controlled activity of mold, yeast and lactic acid
bacteria. During the fermentation process, the action of enzymes produced
by the koji mold breaks down the proteins from soybeans (and sometimes
wheat) into amino acids. This results in almost 300 identifiable compounds
that contribute to soy sauces complex flavor and aroma. Kizu says
that naturally brewed soy sauce has a harmonious balance of the
tastes salty, bitter, sweet, sour and umami, coupled with a savory aroma.
Because of these characteristics, soy sauce will bring out hidden flavors
in many foods when used during processing.
Salt, which is contained at about 13.7% on a weight/weight basis in
regular soy sauce, also contributes to the flavor-enhancing effect and
works synergistically with glutamic acid (the predominant amino acid
in soy sauce) to enhance food flavor. Because of the high sodium levels
in soy sauce, product designers may need to reduce salt elsewhere in
a formulation. Reduced-sodium, or lite, soy sauces are available
for formulating lower-sodium products. Lite soy sauce is useful for
modifying a too-salty product that lacks another salt source in the
product that could be reduced.
Usage level will vary widely depending on the application and form of
soy sauce used. Kizu says that in general, a level of 5% to 50% liquid
soy sauce is used in soups, sauces and gravies. Generally, the more
that is used, the more an enhancing effect can be expected, up to a
point where a very salty taste will result. If too little is used, not
much of a flavor change will be noticed.
Soy sauce should be declared on a food label as soy sauce
followed by the ingredients used in its manufacture. For instance, a
preservative-free soy sauce might be declared as soy sauce (water,
soybeans, wheat, salt) on the ingredient statement. No restrictions
on usage or applications are imposed on soy sauce. It is sometimes used
as a substitute for pure MSG in foods, giving the impression of a cleaner
label, although glutamic acid is the predominating amino acid in soy
Miso, another fermented soybean product
commonly used in Asian cuisine, is gaining popularity in other foods.
According to Iwinski, this ancient Japanese preparation is made primarily
from soybeans, either by themselves or in combination with rice or barley.
Typical applications include soups, sauces, dressings and spreads.
Hydrolyzed plant and vegetable proteins (HPP or HVP) and yeast extracts
also give savory, umami-type flavors to
foods. These enhancers are available as individual ingredients or as
components of more complex flavors and bases. They can enhance meaty
notes or reduce costs when a limited amount of actual meat is used.
They also add a meat-like flavor to vegetarian products.
According to Joanne S. Ferrara, vice president of product development,
FIS-North America, Solon, OH, Hydrolyzed plant proteins are composed
primarily of amino acids and salts resulting from the acid-catalyzed
breakdown of peptide bonds. The meaty-brothy flavor character that results
is a delicate balance of amino acids. The plant proteins commonly
used as bases for HPP are corn, soy and wheat.
Yeast extract is produced through the hydrolysis of peptide bonds
by the naturally occurring enzymes present in edible yeast or by the
addition of food-grade enzymes, says Ferrara. The composition
of amino acids, peptides, carbohydrates and salts provides a savory
flavor and enhancement for numerous applications. Yeast extracts
are especially effective as enhancers for cheese flavors used in sauces,
baked goods, dips and snacks.
Other enhancer ideas
When searching for savory ingredients to enhance a product, fish-based
sauces and pastes may not immediately come to mind. Commonly made from
anchovies, these often fermented ingredients are staples in many Asian
cuisines. Fish sauces and pastes can provide a strong fish note or a
subtle, general savoriness.
For example, anchovy paste (made from crushed anchovy fillets or added
as a commercial preparation) is a key ingredient in classic Caesar salad
dressings. Depending on the amount of anchovy paste used, Caesar dressing
can be distinctly fishy-tasting or possess no discernable fish flavor
at all. At very low levels, anchovy pastes also are excellent in tomato-based
sauces, such as those used to top stuffed green peppers or cabbage rolls.
Be forewarned, though, that handling these ingredients can be a rather
Chefs often blend the flavors of carrot, celery and onion to create
a profile known as mirepoix. This flavor works well when trying to coax
a savory note out of meat-free dishes, a feat sometimes difficult to
accomplish when meaty broths or natural meat flavors cant be used.
Product designers can choose from various forms of mirepoix: prepared
bases, vegetable juices, pureed vegetables and compounded flavors. Vegetable
pieces also can be used, but not as much flavor will be released as
when vegetables are macerated before processing, especially when using
Carrot juice or puree can impart sweetness and roundness to soups, sauces
and other forms and is available in aseptic and frozen forms. If not
overly bitter, celery also adds a nice flavor.
Onions greatly enhance meat and vegetable flavor and make a dish interesting
depending on whether they are sautéed, caramelized, roasted,
or use other preparation methods. Pre-sautéed and roasted onions
are becoming more common as manufacturing facilities seek to streamline
Garlic also enhances meat flavors and, like onions, is available in
whole, chopped, minced and pureed forms and comes in frozen, refrigerated
and shelf-stable forms.
Cheeses, with their many forms and complex flavors, offer a variety
of options for creating a full-bodied flavor. Whether its a mellow,
buttery Cheddar profile or a tangy Parmesan note, a cheese-based ingredient
may be just what a product needs. In addition to imparting a characteristic
flavor, cheese contains amino acids, such as glutamic acid, that further
enhance the foods in which they are included.
The target flavor profile obviously influences which types of cheese
ingredients a formulator pursues, and the end product will dictate which
forms can be used. For example, in a cold-processed refrigerated product,
all ingredients should have low microbial counts and low residual enzyme
activity. When a finished product doesnt receive a heat treatment,
enzymes can cause many problems, such discoloration, loss of viscosity
and loss of structural integrity. In situations such as this, natural
cheese may be out of the question. Pasteurized cheese products and compounded
cheese flavors may be a better option; be sure to check with the supplier
to make sure the ingredients meet your specifications.
Cost is also a major factor in choosing cheese ingredients. An enzyme
modified cheese (EMC) paste or compounded flavor can greatly enhance
overall cheese flavor while reducing the amount of natural cheese used
in an application.
For a closer look at dairy-based flavors such as cheese, see Discovering
Dairy Flavors in the December 2000 issue of Food
Other savory flavors
A variety of savory flavors can be created through the combination of
basic savory ingredients and compounded flavors. Ferrara says that FIS
takes a modular flavor-system approach in which base notes, such as
HPP, yeast extract and soy sauce, contribute body and depth to the flavor.
The specific notes or mid-notes (processed flavors) assist in
defining or adding authenticity to a flavor. notes Ferrara. They
also bring an added dimension by enhancing, modifying or broadening
the flavor profile. The topnotes (compound flavors) are concentrated
molecules that boost the character of other flavor components by providing
Vanilla, the most popular flavor in the world, can act as a stand-alone
flavor or as a complement to other flavors. In fact, what most of us
consider chocolate flavor would not be the same without the smoothing
effects of vanilla, nor would many dairy products seem as rich and creamy.
The vanilla bean is actually the fruit of orchids, and only
two species of orchids produce the worlds vanilla bean crop. Vanilla
planifolia (also known as Vanilla fragrans)
is grown in Mexico, Bali, Indonesia and what are known as the Bourbon
Islands (Madagascar, Comoro Islands, Seychelles and Reunion). Vanilla
tahitensis is grown in Tahiti. The United States is the largest
consumer of vanilla beans, most of which come from Madagascar. (Although
of high quality, very little vanilla is exported from Mexico.) In fact,
most Americans are so accustomed to the smooth, sweet, rich, full-bodied
flavor of Bourbon vanilla that other vanillas may taste rather odd in
comparison. Vanilla beans produced from V. tahitensis
in Tahiti are distinctly different from the others; they have a fruity,
sweet, perfumey profile with the floral notes of heliotropin.
The ultimate flavor of the vanilla bean depends on where it was grown
and how it was cured. Vanilla beans produced in the Bourbon Islands
and Mexico are widely considered to have the best flavor, whereas beans
that come from Indonesia are considered inferior because they are picked
before ripening and then cured over wood fires, resulting in harsh,
Once the beans reach the United States, they are extracted with ethanol
to create pure vanillas. A one-fold vanilla is the flavoring achieved
by extracting 13.35 oz. of vanilla beans with one gal. of alcohol. A
two-fold extract is twice as strong, i.e., 26.70 oz. of vanilla beans
are used per one gal. of liquid. Three-folds and four-folds also are
available. The higher folds are especially useful in manufacturing since
less liquid needs to be handled and shipped. Pure vanilla extracts contain
at least 35% alcohol by volume; otherwise, they are labeled as flavors.
Extracts of different bean origins often are blended; for instance,
Bourbon and Tahitian vanillas frequently are combined to create a French
In addition to pure vanilla extracts and flavors, many other options
exist for imparting vanilla-type flavor, such as vanilla-vanillin blends,
imitation vanillas and vanilla WONFs. Dry vanilla powders (natural and
imitation) are useful when a liquid cannot be used. Manufacturers will
sometimes add vanilla bean pieces are to products, such as ice creams
and custards, for a natural visual appeal.
Imitation vanillas are based on vanillin or ethyl vanillin, which are
derived respectively from wood pulp (the byproduct of the paper industry)
and guaiacol (a coal tar derivative). Alcohol, propylene glycol and/or
glycerin are used as carriers. Other artificial and natural ingredients
may be added to enhance the flavor; adding caramel color can make the
product look more like natural vanilla.
Although natural vanillin is the primary constituent of natural vanilla
flavor, more than 200 other compounds contribute to vanilla flavor.
Although some of these compounds are present in trace amounts, their
impact cannot be discounted. Vanillin itself is not as round or pleasant
as natural vanilla flavor as a whole, but imitation vanillas have improved
greatly over the years and offer inexpensive alternatives to the real
An alternative sweetener receiving much attention is stevia, a perennial
shrub officially known as Stevia rebaudiana.
Although not GRAS or considered a food additive in the United States,
stevia leaves have been used for hundreds of years in South America
as a sweetener for bitter herbal drinks such as maté. Stevia
has been legal for use as a food ingredient in Japan since the 1970s
and is used in Japanese versions of familiar products such as diet Coke®.
In the leaf form, stevia is approximately 10 to 30 times sweeter than
sucrose, and in extracted form, it can be up to 300 times sweeter than
The primary chemical in stevia that is responsible for its sweet taste
is a glycoside known as stevioside. This glycoside enhances flavor and
imparts sweetness without calories. Like a few other non-nutritive sweeteners,
stevia and stevioside extract have a slightly bitter, licorice-like
Although legally marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement
only, many consumers are choosing to overlook this technicality. Stevia
is being used on the consumer level for beverages and baked goods and
is available in health- and natural-foods stores in extract form. Whether
stevia will gain approval and be used on an industrial level is unknown.
Proponents of approving stevia as a food ingredient in the United States
say that the FDA is kowtowing to the special interests of the synthetic
sweetener industry. The FDA in turn says that inadequate research has
been conducted regarding stevias safety.
More sweet things
Processors obtain licorice extracts from the roots of the licorice plant,
Glycyrrhiza glabra. In addition to their ability to act as flavor potentiators,
modifiers and intensifiers, these extracts can round out some flavor
profiles and disguise bitterness and astringency. Licorice extracts
have a sweetness of their own up to 50 times sweeter than sucrose
and can greatly enhance an already sweetened product as a result
of synergies with both natural and synthetic sweeteners. The ingredients
are used at very low levels, below the licorice-flavor detection threshold.
Licorice extracts are available as a brown powder (ammonium glycyrrhizinate)
that contains a significant amount of the natural licorice flavor, and
as white powder (mono-ammonium glycyrrhizinate), which has a cleaner
flavor. The correct form depends on whether a products flavor
is compatible with that of licorice.
Known by its brand name TalinTM, thaumatin is an intense sweetener that,
like stevia, can give a licorice-like aftertaste. This sweetener is
a protein extracted from the katemfe fruit, which is grown in Western
Africa, and has approximately 2,000 times the sweetness of sucrose.
Thaumatins slow-acting taste causes flavors to be perceived over
a long period of time, allowing it to enhance a variety of sweet and
savory flavors. Like licorice extracts, it works synergistically with
nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners, and masks bitter and metallic
Human and animal studies performed to date show that thaumatin is safe
for consumption, but the FDA has not yet approved it for use as a sweetener.
The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA), Washington,
D.C., however, has approved it as a flavor enhancer at low levels. Thaumatin
is legal for use in the EC as a general flavor preparation and also
is approved as a sweetener in beverages, desserts and chewing gum.
Maltol and ethyl maltol can enhance the flavor systems of sweet goods
and are often characterized by their cotton candy flavor.
A small quantity of these compounds can significantly reduce the amount
of sweeteners needed in a product. In general, maltols can enhance flavor,
potentiate sweetness, reduce bitterness and suppress acid bite or burn.
They also can create the perception of creaminess in many products,
especially those containing dairy ingredients. Compounded flavors often
include maltol and ethyl maltol.
Having a properly balanced tartness is important. Vinegar, or acetic
acid, is a major component of tangy salad dressings and zippy barbecue
sauces. Citric acid, commonly added in granular form, is used in beverages,
fruit-flavored products, tomato products and sauces. Malic acid, which
occurs naturally in apples, also is used to impart tartness to fruity
flavors. Tartaric acid traditionally has been considered a natural companion
to grape-flavored products, but consumers have become so accustomed
to grape enhanced with citric acid that they may find tartaric-enhanced
products to have a harsh taste. Soft drinks commonly contain phosphoric
acid, alone and in combination with citric acid.
In addition to adding flavor and tartness, acids help lower pH and act
as a preservative. Many developers start with citric acid as an all-purpose
acidulant and branch out as necessary to other acids to create a balanced,
pleasant tartness. Acidulants are generally labeled by name on packages,
i.e., citric acid, malic acid or phosphoric
acid. Acetic acid is labeled as vinegar or acetic
Who was that masked flavor?
Flavor masking agents can decrease undesirable notes to help create
good tasting profiles in products containing off-flavored ingredients.
These agents can disguise bitterness, chalkiness and sourness, and can
tone down pungent and metallic notes. Sometimes this flavor improvement
is accomplished by heightening a desirable quality, such as sweetness,
so that other flavors are less noticeable.
Masking agents are especially popular for products containing soy- and
cereal-based ingredients and may help mask off-notes in isolated soy
proteins, soy concentrates and soymilk. According to Joe Minella, manager
of beverage applications, Virginia Dare Extract Co., Brooklyn, NY, these
agents help reduce the beany notes of the soy and form a bland and creamy
base on which to add flavors. These masking flavors are used in protein-based
nutrition beverages, nutrition bars, desserts and soymilk products.
FIS also offers masking agents. Ferrara recommends incorporating the
system to cover certain off-notes in products containing soy, minerals
or vitamins. This agent is used at a near threshold level so that the
flavor of the agent itself is not perceived, but off-notes are suppressed.
Says Ferrara, The challenge is to find the right balance and use
level of the masking flavor in conjunction with the flavor system and
Sweetness modifiers can greatly improve products that have a variety
of flavor problems. For instance, Virginia Dare markets a proprietary
product for sweet goods, which is not a sweetener itself, but can lift
the sweetness of a food or beverage and reduce the mouth-lingering hang
from artificial sweeteners, thus providing a more natural-tasting sweetness
profile. In addition, these modifiers were designed to effectively mask
specific compounds responsible for off-flavor. Typical applications
include cereals, nutrition bars, frozen and ready-to-eat desserts, beverages,
sports nutrition products, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals.
Other enhancers include products that cover some of the barny
off-notes associated with dairy ingredients such as dried milk and cheese
powders. Also, tomato toners or enhancers help reduce perceived acidity
while increasing cooked-tomato flavor.
Janet Schurig, director of applications for sweet goods at Virginia
Dare, suggests masking undesirable off-notes before overlaying the base
system with regular flavors. If you are working with a base that
has a bitter or medicinal note, you will want to achieve a more pleasant-tasting
base before you add a characterizing flavor, she says. When
you are at a point of detecting an improvement, meaning a more palatable
base, you will then add your characterizing flavor.
Masking agents usually are available in natural and artificial versions
and in dry and liquid forms. Most are designed so that they can be labeled
simply as flavors, i.e., natural flavor or natural
and artificial flavors.
Many companies have built their entire business around flavor-masking
technologies and most flavor houses have added masking agents to their
conventional flavoring products. Testing and comparing technologies
from several suppliers is highly recommended to ensure product optimization.
More tricks of the trade
The world of flavor enhancers is expansive, and weve discussed
only a few. Others include wine and even chocolate or cocoa. Chocolate
is an integral part of Mexican mole sauce and can add a wonderful background
to many other sauces, soups and chilies. Maillard flavors, produced
through the reaction of amino acids with reducing sugars, can help when
trying to add a low cost meaty flavor to a product. These
reaction flavors also are useful for adding meat-like or generally savory
flavors to vegetarian products.
To successfully enhance a products flavor, think carefully about
the ingredients already in the food and what enhancing techniques or
ingredient may further improve the product. When deciding to try a particular
ingredient, find out what effects have typically been observed with
that ingredient. For example, IMP is said to increase sweetness and
decrease saltiness in food, so if a product already seems too sweet,
it may not be the answer. Also, simply using too much of an enhancer
can be detrimental. Salts ability to boost soy or cereal notes
would be a detriment in a product where such flavors are not desirable.
If a products flavor isnt quite up to snuff, dont
despair. With numerous flavor-enhancing ingredients available, one is
bound to do the trick with spectacular results.
Christine M. Homsey is a food scientist with Food Perspectives,
a consulting firm in Plymouth, MN. She has developed products for the
grocery and restaurant industries and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3400 Dundee Rd. Suite #100
Northbrook, IL 60062