tea type, red tea (oolong for
example) can benefit from a
much higher level, around
200 ppm. The least cooked
tea, green tea, does conform
to expectations and needs
only 5 ppm to give a subtle,
but noticeable boost.
Bacon: Bacon flavors often
present a creative challenge
because of the overabundance of indigestion inducing
“bacony” notes. A level of 300
ppm gives a subtle roasted
note that makes it easier to
reduce the levels of the more
Beef, Roast: Good roast
beef flavors use a complex of
different roasted notes, some
meaty and some not. Here,
500 ppm of 2-ethyl 3-methyl
pyrazine makes a good level of addition when used
with other pyrazines, especially trimethyl pyrazine.
HVP: The roasted note in HVP flavors is necessarily much more subdued than in roast beef, but a
similar complex with trimethyl pyrazine and other
pyrazines is equally effective. The level of use is
lower, around 200 ppm.
Mushroom, Dried: Dried mushroom flavors only
require very subtle additions of 2-ethyl 3-methyl
pyrazine. A good starting point is 50 ppm. A similar
level of addition is also effective in cooked mushroom flavors, but this raw material should not be
used in raw mushroom flavors.
Onion, Toasted: In contrast, a good toasted or
fried onion flavor does not really need to be subtle.
An addition of 800 ppm is very effective and higher
levels can be used to give an exaggerated effect.
Potato, Fried: Fried potatoes derive much of their
pyrazine character from 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine, with
2-ethyl 3-methyl pyrazine only playing a secondary
role. The profiles of the two chemicals are broadly
similar and 2-ethyl 3-methyl pyrazine has the
advantage of greater heat stability, which is vitally
important in this category. A good place to start is
Rice: Cooked rice flavors present a similar challenge. The dominant pyrazine in this case is usually
methyl pyrazine, which is even less heat stable. An
addition of 2-ethyl 3-methyl pyrazine makes an effective alternative at around 200 ppm.
Bread: The ideal level of 2-ethyl 3-methyl pyrazine
in bread flavors varies dramatically with the profile
that is required. Subtle bread crumb flavors only
need a modest addition of around 100 ppm. More
aggressive bread crust and pizza base flavors are very
different and can happily accommodate much higher
levels, up to 2,000 ppm and beyond.
Coconut, Toasted: A moderate level of toasting is
very attractive in coconut flavors, depending on the
food application. A level of 200 ppm works well in
most typical flavors.
Corn, Toasted: Cooked corn flavors should be as
heat stable as possible and this ingredient is useful
in flavors intended for toasted corn or corn chips at
around 400 ppm.
Rum, Dark: Only a careful addition of 2-ethyl
3-methyl pyrazine is needed in dark rum flavors, but
even at 20 ppm, this chemical adds significantly to
authenticity. In my opinion, a tiny addition of, say, 5
ppm also improves light rum flavors, but this effect is
much less obvious.
Whisky: The same comments are equally true
of whisky flavors, but the ideal level of addition is
usually even lower, around 10 ppm. Higher levels
can be beneficial in flavors that are more than
Brandy: An addition of 10 ppm, or less, of 2-ethyl
3-methyl pyrazine also works well in cognac and
brandy flavors, adding pleasant authenticity.