The science of food and flavors has come a long way when it comes to helping maintain quality and taste without sacrificing safety. Modifying flavors, whether enhancing them without changing them or masking bitter or off notes from necessary ingredients, requires an in-depth understanding of ingredients and their components. This can include everything from how products and their ingredients are processed, stored, and consumed to their fundamental chemistry.
From the moment a food is harvested or produced, it begins declining in taste, texture, nutrition, and safety. Also, sometimes the ingredients that work the best for a desired nutrition profile might come at a cost related to flavor. An oft-cited example is that of protein from legumes. Some are reported to leave a bitter aftertaste and some have what consumers call a “beany” taste — not so enjoyable in, say, a confection or sweet beverage.