Working in the flavour industry means immersing yourself at the same time into the fascinating world of botanical science of the raw materials you extract, the intricacies of biochemistry of the aromatic constituents and the mysteries of the human, sensorial and emotional systems.
Flavour industry, with a long past and an innovative future
The flavouring industry is a very innovative industry investing around 10 % of its turnover in Research and Development (R&D). R&D might include looking for new flavouring substances, but also thoroughly testing the materials and analyzing the existing beverage and food target with state of the art technology to determine the exact molecular structure of key flavour components.
It also looks closely at market trends, with marketing departments that listen and anticipate consumer expectations.
Our industry works with providers from all over the world in order to have for example the best vanilla from Madagascar or a rare Amazonian fruit or a special local spice. The purchasing department travels around the world looking for new flavouring sensations and takes utmost care in sustainably sourcing those ingredients.
It’s all about what the consumer wants. Consumer expectations vary strongly across different countries. This department uses tools such as sensory panels to determine the market trends and flavour preferences.
Flavourists are the real artists within the creation process. Similar to a musician, who combines music notes to create a unique melody, or a Chef who combines various ingredients to create a new recipe, flavourists know the specific flavour properties of more than 2000 components and how they relate to each other. By combining them, they create unique flavourings.
It all starts with the raw materials isolating and characterizing flavoring substances and preparations from them. Then, according to the Flavourist’s instructions, these are combined in order to obtain a unique flavoring.
You don’t consume flavourings as such. It has to be added to a specific food product (yogurt, cookies, snacks, beverages, etc.) Therefore, in all of our member companies you can find fully equipped kitchens where food technologists can bake a cake or prepare a dairy product and then add the flavourings in order to determine how they really taste in the final product. Knowledge about the interaction of the flavouring with the components in the food matrix is essential.
Every flavouring has to comply with the applicable legislation (EU legislation for the EU market) and the regulatory department makes sure that everything that is sold is in line with the strict legal parameters and in addition to the guidance documents of the industry itself.
They are in contact with the final customers: the food and beverages industry. Sales take the needs and expectations of the food industry to the flavouring industry and bring back to their clients a flavouring that will match these needs. Then, is the role of the food industry to add the flavouring into their products and complete the chain: labelling, packaging and sell it to the retailer or final consumer.