Endpoint. Look Both Ways
Motherboard6 reported three years ago that 7,700
different flavors were marketed online for e-cigarettes as part of an estimated $2 billion business
in the United States alone—and growing. Among
them, fruity flavors were the most common (offered
by 84% of sellers), followed by dessert/candy flavors
(80%), alcohol/drink flavors (77%), and snacks/
In relation, a new study from Penn State
University7 explored how e-cigarette flavors are
perceived by users, in effort to standardize flavor
categories. In an online survey, 3,716 participants
indicated the following preferences: tobacco ( 23.7%),
menthol/mint ( 14.8%), fruit ( 20.3%), dessert/sweets
( 20.7%), alcohol ( 2.8%), nuts/spices ( 2.0%), candy
( 2.1%), coffee/tea ( 4.3%), beverages ( 3.1%), unflavored (0.4%) and don’t know/other ( 5.8%).
Smart phones are another technology putting
a twist on the classics. As previously reported, 8
they’ve been programmed to transmit fragrance
through oPhones using apps. And thanks to P&G’s
Febreze Connect, we can wirelessly control scent
in our homes, syncing it to the thermostat to set a
relaxing scent to come home to, or a stimulating
one to wake you up.
But there’s a more serious side to scent and
smart phones: allergen monitoring. Researchers in
Copenhagen[ 9] used a new app to screen the labels
of cosmetic products registered through the app for
ingredients on the EU’s list of 26 fragrance allergens
or the wording fragrance/parfum/aroma.
Among the products labelled as containing at
least one allergen, 85.5% and 73.9% contained at
least two and three, respectively; apparently, based
on the registered product data (details were not
disclosed in the article abstract). Linalool ( 49.5%)
and limonene ( 48.5%) were labelled most often, and
a total of 329 ( 5.9%) products had one or more of the
26 substances labelled but did not include parfum/
fragrance/aroma on the label.
As a new, tech-savvy generation of innovators is
ushered in, no doubt they will continue to design
new ways to integrate, for better or worse, flavor and
fragrance trends and chemistries with novel, digitized solutions and applications.
Buying Into Biology
I’ve saved the best for last, I think, as it’s somewhat
blue-sky thinking—but on everyone’s radar: biology.
Understanding olfaction will be an ongoing process
but new research from Monell10 has more immediate potential. Peihua Jang, Ph.D., and collaborators
studied taste organoids at different stages of growth
and identified which genes are turned on when for
sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami receptors.
process, or replicate its effects in an entirely new
Pomelo, nuked: In relation, a method using
microwave pretreatment to inactivate endogenous
enzymes and preserve the pectin, naringin and
limonin contents in pomelo flavedo was described
earlier this year. 4 This approach extended storage
time and improved the extraction of pomelo essential oil. While microwave-assisted distillation and
extraction is not new, recent application has focused
on extracting natural actives such as polysaccharides, phytic acid and pyrophosphate. In addition,
its speed could help it grow alongside the burgeoning naturals market.
The natural flavor and
fragrance market will
continue its substantial
rise in growth between
2017 and 2024.
Tomato sprayed away: In processing, the
compounds in tomato flavors were compared among
those produced by heat pump dehumidifying, and
fresh- and freeze-drying. In the case of volatiles,
commercial spray-drying also was assessed for
potential thermal-induced changes. Most results
were comparable, although the loss of (E)-2-hexenal,
1-penten-3-one and 1-hexanol, which contributes
to fresh green aroma, was detected in spray-dried
tomato; along with heat-induced compounds
dimethyl sulfide, furfural and pyrrole derivatives.
This points to another opportunity for optimization
in aroma development. 3
The Classics, Digitized and Remastered
As reported by Nutritionaloutlook.com5 classic
and nostalgic flavors have found their way into nontraditional applications. For example, grilled cheese,
milk and cookies, and root beer/marshmallow flavors
are being used in dairy, bakery, confectionery, snacks
and alcoholic beverages. But taking this a step
further are flavors applied in new consumer technologies. Electronic cigarettes are a perfect example.