Unraveling the secrets of Tennessee whiskey

More than a century has passed since the last scientific analyses of the famed "Lincoln County [Tennessee] process" was published, but the secrets of the famous Tennessee whiskey flavor are starting to unravel at the University ...

How sour beer gets so... sour

Sour beer, the tart and tangy outcome of a brewing process that's been used in Europe for centuries, has recently surged in popularity in the U.S. Today, scientists report progress on a study of how acids and other flavor ...

Chanterelle mushrooms as a taste enhancer

Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) are one of the most popular mushrooms in Germany. Depending on the weather, chanterelle season starts in early July. Connoisseurs value the mushroom's delicate fruity aroma, which is reminiscent ...

Chocolate 'fingerprints' could confirm label claims

The flavor and aroma of a fine chocolate emerge from its ecology, in addition to its processing. But can you be certain that the bar you bought is really from the exotic locale stated on the wrapper? Now, researchers are ...

New technology helps reduce salt, keep flavor

Eating too much salt can have significant negative health implications, and modern processed food typically contains high levels of salt to improve taste and preservation.

Brewing beer that tastes fresh longer

Unlike wine, which generally improves with time, beer does not age well. Usually within a year of bottling, the beverage starts to develop an unpleasant papery or cardboard-like flavor that drinkers describe as "stale." Now, ...

Understanding what makes Tennessee whiskey unique

The sugar maple tree yields autumn foliage, maple syrup and Tennessee whiskey. Wood from the tree is chopped into planks, stacked in piles and burned to form charcoal. Freshly distilled, un-aged whiskey is filtered over the ...

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Flavor

Flavor or flavour (see spelling differences) is the sensory impression of a food or other substance, and is determined mainly by the chemical senses of taste and smell. The "trigeminal senses", which detect chemical irritants in the mouth and throat as well as temperature and texture, are also very important to the overall Gestalt of flavor perception. The flavor of the food, as such, can be altered with natural or artificial flavorants, which affect these senses.

Flavorant is defined as a substance that gives another substance flavor, altering the characteristics of the solute, causing it to become sweet, sour, tangy, etc.

Of the three chemical senses, smell is the main determinant of a food item's flavor. While the taste of food is limited to sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory (umami) – the basic tastes – the smells of a food are potentially limitless. A food's flavor, therefore, can be easily altered by changing its smell while keeping its taste similar. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in artificially flavored jellies, soft drinks and candies, which, while made of bases with a similar taste, have dramatically different flavors due to the use of different scents or fragrances. The flavorings of commercially produced food products are typically created by flavorists.

Although the terms "flavoring" or "flavorant" in common language denote the combined chemical sensations of taste and smell, the same terms are usually used in the fragrance and flavors industry to refer to edible chemicals and extracts that alter the flavor of food and food products through the sense of smell. Due to the high cost or unavailability of natural flavor extracts, most commercial flavorants are nature-identical, which means that they are the chemical equivalent of natural flavors but chemically synthesized rather than being extracted from the source materials. Identification of nature-identical flavorants are done using technology such as headspace techniques.

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