People still rely on the primal instinct of aroma to gauge food safety and quality. It’s estimated that some 80% of flavor involves the sense of smell. Food technologists increasingly are relying on the science of smell as a key to creating consistent products in an expanding variety of flavor choices.
Driven by wellness and clean-label trends, the food and beverage industry has entered into a new era of fragrance. Whereas the field once was dominated by aromatic esters developed from chemical “scratch,” today the majority of essential oils, nature-identical aromatic compounds, and naturally extracted aromatic compounds from fruit skins, spices, and botanicals — as well as maskers and aromatic enhancers — are added to foods to create or recreate specific, targeted fragrances that evoke and enhance the desired flavor profile.