about Strawberry (again) - chemistry

Flavorcompany Givaudan eg , has developed 750 flavors of orange, tangerine, and mandarins. Subtle variations include jammy, sweet, floral, seedy, and so on.

When trying to simulate the taste of chocolate, for example, flavorists will use substances that individually taste and smell like potato chips, cooked meat, peaches, raw beef fat, cooked cabbage, human sweat, dirt and other distinctly un-chocolate-like aromas. And in fact, in some cases it can get quite weird; some strawberry and vanilla flavors are derived from the gland found in a beaver's backside. ... now a days that component can be syntetic produced though.

Once the compounds have been selected, the chemists use a "flavor profile" to help them architect the taste they're trying to simulate. This profile is typically constructed with mathematical assistance, allowing the chemists to make the most minutest of adjustments — what's typically measured in parts per million (ppm). They also need to be sensitive to how all the various chemicals might react to one another, and whether the mixtures will lend themselves to cooking. The list of chemicals that are used to flavor a single food can get quite extensive.

It can take upwards of 300 individual compounds to endow a food with the flavor associated with a ripe strawberry! . The balance of sweetness and acidity is very important to the taste of a strawberry. As strawberries ripen, their sugar content rises on ripening. At the same time, the acidity decreases, meaning ripe strawberries taste much sweeter. Esters, are responsible for the aroma of many other fruit, including banana and pineapple. They can make up 90% of the aroma molecules from a strawberry. It’s important that the contribution of the esters are balanced – too much gamma-decalactone for example, and the strawberries will start to taste like peaches. Six compounds ((green, caramel-like/sweet, 2 x fruity and a buttery note) is key flavorcompounds in a typical strawberry-like taste.

- Strawberry and Cinnamon- Due to the presence of chemicals esters, strawberries may have hints of a cotton candy like flavour. Due to the nature of cinnamon it is able to pair well with fruit to transform the flavour into something warm and slightly spicy.

- Strawberry and Soft Cheese– Although this might seem like a surprising combination at first it surprisingly works. Strawberry cheesecake exemplifies this combination. The reason why these flavours work together is that they both have buttery and creamy notes. This is also why strawberries pair so well with dairy.

- Strawberry goes well with dairy/cream because both are creamy mealy notes.

- Yogurts eg sour notes kicks Strawberry, because rising sourer acidic notes, as also by Cheesecake.

In the United States, consumers tend to prefer strawberry products which are generally sweet and slightly jammy. The French however prefer strawberries with for a pronounced jasmine note while the Spanish prefer a “strawberry jam” taste type. Thats to consider by what type of Strawberry we want......

A large percentage, approximately 85%, of the flavor that we perceive comes by the aroma and the fragrance, not tastebuds. Major flavour components or key odorants are compounds that you will effectively smell. Most aromas are not single compounds but they are a complex mixture of compounds, with the key flavour compounds being volatile compounds, so that they can be transported to the olfactory receptors for a complete sensory evaluation . Two concitions are needed:

- the compound needs to be volatile, so it can be transported to the olfactory system. Remove volatiles (eg. by breathing) it wouldnt be sensed as good to our olfactory system = less taste.

- the compound needs to be in a sufficiently high concentration to be able to interact with one or more of the olfactory receptors. If are too low concentration, the compounds wouldnt reach our olfactory receptors. = less taste. Still we need take the producers intentions in consideration, if we go out of best «window-of-taste» , taste will decrease, too high it will get unwanted chemical notes, or even close to disappear.

«Vaportongue» is mainly a oversensing of the olfactory system.


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