Bell Flavors and Fragrances hosted its sixth “Flavorology” event this May at the Chopping Block in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

Flavorology is a gathering of Bell’s R&D, application specialists, industry chefs and key customers. It’s designed to educate attendees about new technologies and flavor concepts and help Bell customers create new market leading products.

“Bell has strategically been focusing on creative innovation across all of our flavor categories particularly supporting our new Spark trend program. This year’s flavorology not only showcased some of Bell’s forward-looking flavors but also many of our progressive technology systems,” says Kelli Heinz, director of Marketing & Industry Affairs.

Bell’s Flavorology event has two parts. The first involves tabletops highlighting Bell’s latest flavor and technology developments, which were inspired by Bell’s Spark™ trend program. The second part, CheFusion™, brought together industry renowned chefs to create innovative cuisines showcasing Bell flavors in an “Iron-chef” like competition.

Bell’s tabletops showcased finished products inspired by three of Bell’s Spark™ trends.

The first trend is “Be Fit.” Not skinny. Not fat. Not thin. “Be fit” is the new mantra from Baby Boomers to Millennials. Products featured included protein gummies, vitamin fortified hard candy and a tropical lentil beverage.

The second trend featured products from Spark’s “From Scratch” trend. Whether fermenting, crafting, making pasta or smoking meats, consumers yearn to return to the authentic traditions of their grandparents. This tabletop previewed Bell’s line of craft beer flavors in various applications, including ice cream, chip seasoning and barbeque sauce.

The third Spark trend highlighted was, “Well Traveled Kitchen – Southeast Asia and Middle East.” Consumers’ pantries mirror their travels and taste ambitions. Southeast Asian cuisine is born from cultural influences of many neighboring countries; creating bold and complex flavor profiles. Flavors highlighted included Red Curry Coconut, Thai Kumquat Lemongrass and Kimchi. Demographic experts say the number of Middle Easterners now living in the US has increased 51% since 2000. For that reason, Bell expects the flavors of this region to continue to increase. Flavors highlighted included Moroccan Spice and Ethiopian Spice.

Other tabletop technologies included organic compliant flavors as well as flavor enhancers for low-sugar dairy and bakery products. These enhancers provide sensations of sweetness and dairy notes in products that otherwise lack mouthfeel.

The evening’s highlight was the CheFusion™ event. This was an “Iron Chef” style competition in which nine top industry chefs formed four teams to create state-of-the-art dishes. Each showcased an innovative use of Bell’s flavors in contrasting world cuisines.

Winning teams were:

1st Place: Team Ed Miniat

Chef Dylan Donovan and Chef Jaime Mestan showed a sake cocktail along with short belly bulgogi hoagie with charred kimchi slaw. It was finished with a miso bourbon butterscotch sundae with gochujang caramel sauce.

2nd Place: Team Newlyweds

Chef Luke Hennigan and Chef Brian McKinney showed a red curry adventure mix along with a matcha tea seared tuna.

3rd Place: Team Diversified Foods

Chef Alfred Castro and Chef Paul Rockwell showed a Louisiana BBQ shrimp alongside roasted peach brandy glaze duck with dirty rice.

4th Place: Team Blount Fine Foods

Chef Jeff Wirtz, Chef Thomas Gervasi and Chef Benjamin Murray featured a noodle soup bar with flavors from various regions of the world.

Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. is a leader in the flavor and fragrance industry. With manufacturing plants in five countries and more than 40 sales offices around the world, Bell has the ability to create the flavor, fragrance or botanical for any application. Visit for more details.